x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

International football round-up: Van Persie rampant as Netherlands put six past Northern Ireland

Double from Arsenal striker is highlight on a day of mixed fortunes for Euro 2012 hopefuls.

Robin van Persie fights for the ball with Michael Duff
Robin van Persie fights for the ball with Michael Duff

An inspirational performance by Robin van Persie allowed the Netherlands to send an ominous warning to their Euro 2012 rivals after handing out a 6-0 defeat to Northern Ireland.

The 2010 World Cup finalists relegated Shalke's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to the bench, with Van Persie justifying coach Bert van Marwijk's faith by grabbing two goals.

The first, in the 11th minute, was a back-post header from a Wesley Sneijder cross, while the second came from the penalty spot on the half-hour after Northern Ireland defender Michael Duff had been penalised for handball.

Sandwiched between van Persie's brace was a 25-yard free kick from Sneijder that cleared the wall before dipping inside goalkeeper Lee Camp's right-hand post.

Van Persie turned provider for Holland's fourth goal in the 37th minute, teeing up Afellay to send a crisp finish into the bottom-left corner.

Afellay then made it 5-0 in the 52nd minute with a well-directed shot from just outside the 18-yard box, before defender Ron Vlaar sealed victory with a powerful near-post header in the 78th minute.

Portugal fell to a surprise 3-1 defeat against Turkey in their final warm-up game for Euro 2012.

A goal in each from Umut Bulut secured a 2-0 lead for Abdullah Avci's men in Lisbon, before Nani pulled one back close to the hour mark.

Cristiano Ronaldo had the chance to level the scores from the penalty spot five minutes later, but contrived to miss his kick, and with just two minutes to go Portugal's misery was compounded when a Ricardo Costa clearance rebounded off defender Pepe into his own net.

Italy slumped to a 3-0 defeat against an impressive Russia side, though it took an hour before Alexander Kerzhakov opened the scoring.

A defensive blunder put Roman Shirokov through to score into an empty net for the second, while another error by substitute goalkeeper handed Shirokov his second in the dying seconds to secure the victory.

Denmark claimed a 2-0 victory over Australia, with Liverpool stopper Daniel Agger scoring from the spot and defensive partner Andreas Bjelland grabbing the second.

Elsewhere Ukraine lost 3-2 to Austria, Hungary earned a surprise 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic, Poland eased to a 4-0 win over minnows Andorra and Croatia drew 1-1 against Norway.


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