Devastating Dutch too strong for Italians

Devastating Dutch too strong for Italians

Italy slumped to their first ever defeat at the opening match of a European Championships on Monday as the Azzurri were beaten 3-0 by the Netherlands in a Euro 2008 Group C game played in Berne.

First-half goals from Ruud van Nistelrooy, which the Italians claimed was offside, and Wesley Sneijder put the Dutch firmly in the driving seat at half-time.

Italy came more into the game after the break and came close to reducing the deficit through efforts from Fabio Grosso and Andrea Pirlo but Giovanni van Bronckhorst capped a remarkable night for Marco van Basten's side with a third 10 minutes from time.

Roberto Donadoni's team went into the game with the statistics firmly on their side, having lost only twice to the Dutch in 15 internationals and having beaten them on penalties the only other time they met at the Euro finals.

The Italian coach said his side had been too harmless at times in the game. "I don't want to talk too much about the first goal, it looked very much offside to me. But we have to accept the defeat.

"Our fitness was good. We created several chances towards the end. Sometimes it is like that, you create chances, but the other side scores the goals.

"We now need to think about the next two games and concentrate on them. The nice thing is that we are now playing against Romania and that will give us a chance to show our true worth. We just have to get the three points against them."

A capacity 30,700 crowd, most of them clad in orange and supporting the Dutch, saw their side in devastating form in the first half and fully deserving of their two-goal half-time lead.

The Oranjies were unlucky not to take the lead in the 19th minute after Ruud van Nistelrooy could have earned his side a penalty after being set up by Dirk Kuyt.

However, in a show of sportsmanship, the Real Madrid player did not go down when Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon touched him with his foot after the striker had pushed the ball past.

Van Nistelrooy was rewarded for his honesty just seven minutes later when Buffon managed to clear a Kuyt cross, but the ball fell to Wesley Sneijder.

The Real Madrid midfielder played a cross into the Italian six yard box, where an unmarked van Nistelrooy, played onside by Christian Panucci, who was lying behind the goalline after having crashed into his own goalkeeper, had a simple task of tapping in.

On the half-hour Sneijder, who was celebrating his 24th birthday, added another for the Dutch when he managed to score a spectacular goal from an acute angle after running on to a Kuyt cross.

A brilliant defence-splitting Rafael van der Vaart pass nearly gave Van Nistelrooy his second of the game two minutes from the break but Buffon was quickly off his line to block the shot.

Italy were much stronger in the second half and created a number of half chances, without putting Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar under any real pressure until the last quarter of the game.

Donadoni brought on Alessandro del Piero on the hour, but the 33- year-old Juventus stalwart failed to find a way through the compact Dutch defence.

Fabio Grosso came close for the Italians in the 78th minute and a minute later van der Sar saved brilliantly from an Andrea Pirlo free- kick.

Practically on the break the Dutch scored their third as Kuyt's cross found Giovanni van Bronckhorst and his header was pushed over the line by Gianluca Zambrotta.

Sneijder said he was proud of the team's performance. "It is always very important to do well in the first game and to win against Italy like that will give us a lot of confidence.

"I would not have dreamed of such a start."

Dutch coach van Basten downplayed his side's victory. "I do not think that we are now favourites, even though we played well.

"I did not expect such a result because we were playing against Italy and they have so much experience and quality. It was a very good team performance from our side and if we show such team effort, then our qualities can come out and we can do well.

"We still have two important games. The French are very good and we had our troubles with Romania in the qualifiers, so it will not be easy."

The result sees Italy under tremendous pressure to avoid a similar fate as they did in two of the last three Euro finals, where they were knocked out in the first round, dpa reported.

Kazakhstan's revenues from road cargo transportation down
Kazakhstan's revenues from road cargo transportation down
Kazakhstan decreases import of Ukraine-made goods y-o-y
Kazakhstan decreases import of Ukraine-made goods y-o-y
Kazakh national atomic company's subsidiary opens tender to buy compressors
Kazakh national atomic company's subsidiary opens tender to buy compressors
Loading Bars
Yemen's Houthi rebels say launch drone attack on Saudi air base
India's sports minister tests positive for COVID-19
Weekly review of highlights in Azerbaijan's transport sector
EU to hand over 30 vehicles to Georgia Border Police
Turkish scientist works on drug that can ‘kill COVID-19 in 2 days’
Uzbekistan may start production of its own vaccine against COVID-19 by the end of the year
Russia's Eastwind, Turkmenistan's Turkmensvyaz to sign contract
UK records another 2,206 coronavirus cases, 35 deaths
Iranian official offers upbeat assessment of progress in nuclear talks
Volume of goods transported by Azerbaijan’s vehicles in 2021 disclosed
Indonesia reports 5,041 new COVID-19 cases, 132 new deaths
Global COVID-19 deaths surpass 3 mln - Johns Hopkins University
Geostat reveals volume of Russian exports to Georgia
Solar panel station put into operation in Iran’s Razavi Khorasan Province
New auction to be held for Azerbaijani Finance Ministry's mid-term bonds
Georgia increases import of vehicles from Turkey
Kyrgyzstan imposes restrictive measures at airports
Bahar Azadi gold coin price rebounds in Iran
Foreigners to pass simplified visa procedures for 2021 F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Serbian FM to visit Tehran today
Azerbaijan discloses number of COVID-19 vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 2,148 more COVID-19 cases, 2,287 recoveries
Armenia falsified Caucasian Albania temples in Azerbaijan - rep of religious community
Iran to send trade attaché to Azerbaijan
Weekly review of major events in Azerbaijan's oil & gas sector
Azerbaijan shares footage from Jabrayil's Dash Veysalli village (VIDEO)
Armenia strived to create history for itself in Azerbaijan's lands - Head of Albanian-Udi community
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for April 17
Volume of loaded and unloaded cargo in Iran’s Charak port climbs
Azerbaijani oil prices on rise
VICE News report on Armenia's attack on Azerbaijani Barda nominated for award
Weekly review of main events in ICT sector of Azerbaijan
Earnings from fuel savings in Iran paid to investors
Uzbekistan's CCI, Portuguese Industrial Association establish co-op
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange soar
Rosatom, Uzbekistan working on contract for building nuclear power plant
Turkmenistan to create electronic exchange database
IMF calls on Georgia to reduce capital expenditures in case of lockdown
Russia reports a new high of 9,321 coronavirus cases since March 20
Azerbaijan's Albanian-Udi Christian community members visit ancient temple in Tugh - Trend TV (PHOTO)
OSCE MG should force Armenia to follow terms of trilateral statement - Azerbaijan's Parliament
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Azerbaijan, Turkic Council discuss creation of joint digital tools
Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market
EU rep should follow int'l law before meeting with separatist in Karabakh - expert
Potential areas of Turkmenistan’s interaction within Visegrad Group+Central Asia framework identified
Georgia reports 1,219 new coronavirus cases for April 17
Georgia holds auction for privatization of state property
Azerbaijani MP talks about spring session of IPA CIS held in Russia's St. Petersburg
Georgia continues to conduct research on Namakhvani HPP
Iran unveils details exports from Maragheh County
Kazakhstan reveals total number of TEU containers shipped along Aktau-Baku feeder line
There have always been good grape varieties in Pirshaghi – white and black Shani - President Aliyev
Participants of Azercell Student Bursary and Internship Programs share their success stories
Iran boosts aluminum ingots production
Azerbaijani police find mortar shells, detonators left by Armenia in Gubadly (VIDEO)
Iran declares amount of loans issued to SMEs
Kazakhstan's revenues from road cargo transportation down
Concept of ensuring security of Afghan section of TAPI signed
Members of Albanian-Udi Christian religious community of Azerbaijan visit liberated Khojavand (PHOTO)
Australia to continue review of COVID vaccinations - health minister
Italian media outlets highlight speech of Azerbaijani president at int'l conference in Baku
Kazakhstan decreases import of Ukraine-made goods y-o-y
Kazakh national atomic company's subsidiary opens tender to buy compressors
Azerbaijan sets up structure to work on urban planning in liberated lands
Kazakhstan's oil & gas company opens tender to develop consolidated time standards
Meeting of EU special rep with so-called "FM of Karabakh" promotes separatism, says Azerbaijani expert
Iranian currency rates for April 17
Iran to increase vaccinations as fourth wave of COVID-19 rises
Iran reaches target uranium enrichment
Oil demand to keep on rising in May, June 2021
Work on provision of electricity to Azerbaijan's liberated Sugovushan nearing completion
Bulgaria sees Georgia as valuable partner
Significant number of Georgian citizens register for employment program in Israel
Kazakhstan’s COVID-19 caseload up by 2,822
Ukraine receives first batch of Pfizer vaccine under COVAX initiative
IMF corrects estimate on Iran's foreign exchange bank reserves
Azerbaijan attracting foreign investments for renewable energy projects
Uzbekistan to open an embassy in Sweden
Global COVID-19 infection rate approaching highest: WHO
Portugal resumes flights to Brazil, Britain
Turkey reports over 63,000 daily COVID-19 cases
EU eyes to provide grants to Georgian non-profit organizations
Israel reports 41 new COVID-19 cases, 836,740 in total
Biden signs order keeping Trump-era refugee cap at 15,000
EU-UK trade plunges after Brexit: Eurostat
UK records another 2,596 coronavirus cases, 34 deaths
UN Security Council approves ceasefire monitors for Libya
North Macedonia vaccinates some 35,000 citizens
Raul Castro resigning from Cuba’s Communist Party
Azerbaijani IT company working on creating new network, server infrastructures
Georgian Economy Ministry to form expert council on Namakhvani HPP
Relations between Russia, Azerbaijan attain degree of strategic alliance - Federation Council Chair of Russian Federal Assembly
Turkish engineers develop fiber that kills coronavirus in minutes
Uzbekistan’s gold and foreign exchange reserves drop to $32.6 billion
Iran’s petrochemical output to reach $40b: Oil Minister
Relations within CIS IA to make comprehensive partnership ties more profound among member states - Chair of Azerbaijani Parliament (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani gymnasts win set of awards at Trampoline Hopes Cup tournament
Russia to permanently ban entry for eight US officials
Liabilities of Azerbaijan's Kapital Bank increase in 1Q2021
All news