Netherlands beats Ukraine 3-0

Updated: 31 May 2008 12:34 IST

Dirk Kuyt, Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Ryan Babel scored to help the Netherlands beat Ukraine 3-0 in a friendly tuneup for next month's European Championship.

Netherlands beats Ukraine 3-0

Rotterdam:

Dirk Kuyt, Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Ryan Babel scored to help the Netherlands beat Ukraine 3-0 in a friendly tuneup for next month's European Championship.

Kuyt's first international goal in nearly a year put the Netherlands in front when the Liverpool forward headed in Giovanni van Bronckhorst's cross in the 22rd minute.

Huntelaar doubled the lead with a shot from inside the area in the 37th after Rafael van der Vaart's pass.

Van der Vaart turned provider again in the 63rd, setting up substitute Babel for the third.

Kuyt had previously scored in the 2-1 defeat against Switzerland in August 2007.

"We started well," Van der Vaart said. "New guys were there and it went well. It was a good test."

Feyenoord midfielder Giovanni van Bronckhorst started in defense, giving way for FC Twente star player Orlando Engelaar, who made his first international start alongside van der Vaart, Demy de Zeew and Ibrahim Afellay in a four-man midfield.

Kuyt, who was overlooked in the two last internationals against Croatia and Austria, got a rare chance to impress, starting up front along with Ajax forward Huntelaar.

Real Madrid's Ruud van Nistelrooy and Arjen Robben were left out of the lineup after their arrival in the team camp was delayed due to club commitments while Robin van Persie and Mario Melchiot sat out with injuries.

Afellay had a curling shot from 25 yards (meters) parried away from danger as early as the fifth minute. There were further first half chances for Van Bronckorst and Huntelaar as the Netherlands dominated its opponent.

In a pre-match interview broadcast on national television, Netherlands coach Marco van Basten said he would drop one of the four goalkeepers along with a defender from his provisional 26-man squad on Sunday.

He has until Wednesday to name his final 23.

A stomach bug forced reserve goalkeeper Henk Timmer to withdraw from a squad which was already without first choice Edwin van der Sar.

The Manchester United goalkeeper will join the squad on Monday after helping his side win the Champions League final on Wednesday.

Welsey Sneijder also comes into the squad on Monday while AC Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf has opted out.

The Netherlands, which plays Denmark and Wales in two additional friendlies, opens its campaign against world champion Italy on June 9. France and Romania are also drawn in the same group.

Liverpool's Andriy Voronin almost pulled one back for Ukraine a minute into the second half following a defensive lapse but Netherlands goalkeeper Marteen Stekelenburg coolly cleared the ball out of danger.

The host had chances with John Heitinga heading wide and Huntelaar missing the target inside the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Ukraine goalkeeper Vyacheslav Kernozenko also denied Van der Vaart from 30 yards (meters) in the 67th.



Topics : Football Netherlands Ukraine
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