Netherlands thrashes Ghana in friendly
Four different players scored Tuesday as the Netherlands showed off its attacking prowess with a 4-1 win over Ghana in a World Cup warmup in Rotterdam.
Dirk Kuyt scored in the first half before Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder and Robin van Persie added goals in the last 20 minutes. Van Persie completed the rout with an 87th-minute penalty.
Van Persie is now tied with Dutch legends Ruud Gullit and Johan Neeskens on 17 international goals.
Asamoah Gyan scored Ghana's only goal when he capitalized on shaky defending to make it 2-1 in the 78th.
"Our play was very good," Netherlands captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst said. "We were very dangerous on the counter in the second half. We were good on the ball and scored some good goals."
Sneijder set up the Dutch goal on the half hour with a defence-splitting ball to Van Persie that was a near replica of the pass that set Diego Milito free for his first goal for Inter Milan in the Champions League final. Van Persie's low shot was saved by Richard Kingson but Kuyt was on hand to tap in the rebound for his 15th international goal.
The pass was a relief for Sneijder who appeared to struggle early while playing his first match with the much-criticized World Cup ball.
Mark van Bommel, like Sneijder playing his first match since the Champions League final, set up the second Dutch goal with a pass through the Ghana defence that Van der Vaart calmly slid under Kingson.
"You are never happy if you are not in the starting lineup," said Van der Vaart. "It always nice to come in to score a goal. I am happy."
Ghana, playing without injured Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien, rarely threatened and it took a mix-up in the Netherlands defence by Van Bronckhorst and Joris Mathijsen to gift Gyan his goal.
"The goal was a shame. We hardly gave them a chance tonight," Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk said. "This was just a communication problem."
But Ghana's joy was short-lived with Sneijder drilling a long-range, low volley past Kingson to make it 3-1. Sneijder's goal came from a corner Van der Vaart earned when his lob from close to the halfway line forced Kingson to back pedal fast to tip the ball over the bar.
Van Persie finally found the net himself from the penalty spot after Kingson brought down Van der Vaart.
The Netherlands plays Hungary in Amsterdam on Saturday in its final warmup before leaving for South Africa. Ghana plays Latvia the same day in the British city of Milton Keynes.
Netherlands: Michel Vorm (Sander Boschker, 46), Gregory van der Wiel, John Heitinga, Joris Mathijsen, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Mark van Bommel, Dirk Kuyt (Ryan Babel, 73), Nigel de Jong, Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder (Eljero Elia, 83), Ibrahim Afellay (Rafael van der Vaart, 63).
Ghana: Richard Kingson, John Pantsil, Hans Sarpei, Isaac Vorsah (John Mensah, 46) Lee Addy, Anthony Annan (Kwadwo Asamoah, 77), Derek Boateng, Quincy Owusu-Abeyie (Prince Tagoe, 46), Sulley Muntari (Andre Ayew, 46), Stephen Appiah (Dominic Adiyiah, 46), Matthew Amoah (Asamoah Gyan, 46).