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Netherlands pocket comfortable win over Wales


Amsterdam, June 5 (IANS) In its final friendly encounter before leaving for Brazil, the Dutch football team failed to impress despite beating Wales 2-0 here.

Head coach Louis van Gaal opted for a 4-4-2 system Wednesday instead of 5-3-2 he tried against Ecuador (1-1) and Ghana (1-0) in the build-up to the FIFA World Cup. This meant left back Daley Blind moved to the midfield and Leroy Fer replacing Jonathan De Guzman, who suffered a hamstring injury in training Monday, reports Xinhua.

After a slow start, the Netherlands started to get some opportunities in the first half.

Arjen Robben wasted an opportunity but scored in the 32nd minute. The Bayern Munich striker was alert on the rebound after Welsh goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey stopped a shot by Robin van Persie. The latter also had a chance on the stroke of half-time but the Dutch captain's shot went just wide.

Van Persie did not look very fit in the first half and was substituted by Jeremain Lens while Georginio Wijnaldum replaced Fer.

The second goal was the highlight of the second half when Robben broke through on the right side and crossed to Lens, who netted at the far post in the 76th minute.

The Netherlands will fly to Brazil Thursday and will face Spain in their first match June 13 in Salvador. Australia and Chile are the other teams in Group B.

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