Belfast Telegraph

Van Marwijk hopeful over Van Persie

Holland coach Bert van Marwijk is hopeful that Robin van Persie will be fit for Arsenal duty this weekend after suffering an injury on international duty on Tuesday night.

Van Persie gave Holland the lead in Amsterdam but was injured in a challenge by Hungary defender Vilmos Vanczak. He was forced off by the problem before half-time in a Euro 2012 qualifying match which exploded into life in the second half, as Hungary came back to lead 2-1 before Holland turned it around again to ultimately prevail 5-3.

Van Marwijk told Voetbal International: "Robin got a knee to his thigh. With luck he could play for Arsenal this weekend."

Van Marwijk was unhappy at how his team twice allowed leads to slip. Wesley Sneijder added the Oranje's second after goals from Gergely Rudolf and Zoltan Gera put Hungary ahead, before Ruud van Nistelrooy and Dirk Kuyt (two) rounded off the scoring for the home side.

Van Marwijk told De Telegraaf: "We started well but we were too casual at 1-0. At times we played brilliantly but we were very naive. The way we played we could have also lost the match. This time we were lucky."

Van Nistelrooy's goal takes him to joint third in the all-time scoring list for Holland - level with Faas Wilkes on 35 goals. Only Dennis Bergkamp (37) and Patrick Kluivert (40) are ahead of him.

Tottenham midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart said: "It was a spectacular game. Football is supposed to be entertainment, and this game was certainly that, although the coach will not be satisfied."

Liverpool forward Kuyt, who confessed his second goal was a miscued cross rather than a sublime chip, added: "It was an unbelievable game. We have played badly today but the important thing is that we won. We were lax in our defending, and you do that as a team, it is not just the defence that is to blame. If we do not defend as a team, any team could score against us."

The win maintained Holland's 100% record in Group E and keeps them well on course to qualify for the finals in Poland and Ukraine next summer.

Everton defender John Heitinga told Voetbal International: "Eighteen points out of six, I think we should be proud that we are still unbeaten. Of course it is annoying that we conceded three goals, which is completely unacceptable. But the feeling prevails that we have just played two games against Hungary and have taken six points in the group."


From Belfast Telegraph