/ Soccer

Netherlands into the second round

Updated: Thursday, 14 Jun 2007 16:19

Robbie van Persie scored a free kick against the Ivory Coast this evening
Robbie van Persie scored a free kick against the Ivory Coast this evening

The Netherlands survived some robust second-half pressure from the unlucky Ivory Coast to book their place in the World Cup knockout stage.

Robin van Persie and Ruud van Nistelrooy fired the Dutch into an early lead, only for Bakary Kone to pull one back almost immediately for the Africans.

But, just as against Argentina seven days ago, Didier Drogba and his team failed to find an equaliser and this time it cost them their place in the competition.

Robben brought a good near-post save from Tizie and from the rebound Van Nistelrooy spurned the pleas of better-placed team-mates to turn and shoot himself, only for Toure to make the block.

Dindane took too long to shoot after impressively taking down Kone's cross, offering Andre Ooijer the chance to intervene.

Van Nistelrooy was taken off with 17 minutes remaining as Van Basten introduced Denny Landzaat to try and shore up the midfield. Instead, the move just invited more pressure on to the Dutch defence.

Van Persie had to show admirable calmness to chest off the line as Drogba's header bounced up, then Boulahrouz robbed the Chelsea man inside the Dutch box.

Yapi Yapo forced Van der Sar into another low save but it proved to be all the Ivory Coast could muster as the Netherlands celebrated a place in the last 16.