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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Netherlands vs Russia Preview and Live Score: Euro 2008

If you are interested to get the online live score and updates of Italy vs Spain fourth quarter final match then visit the following link:

Euro 2008: Italy Spain Match Live Updates

In the quarter final match of Euro 2008, Netherlands and Russia are going to take on each other on 21 June 2008 at the St. Jakob-Park, Basel in Switzerland. Both the teams showed some of their top form during their group stage matches. Netherlands progressed to the quarter final with hundred percent winning record as the Group C winner. Russia recorded an emphatic 2-0 victory over Sweden in their last group match. So, both the teams are now full of confidence and are looking to continue their impressive form in the third quarter final of the tournament.

Match: Netherlands vs Russia, Third Quarter Final, Euro 2008
Date: 21 June 2008, Saturday
Venue: St. Jakob-Park, Basel in Switzerland

Netherlands vs Russia: Road to Quarter Final

Netherlands started the tournament with an excellent 3-0 victory over Italy in the opening match of the tournament. Throughout the match Netherlands played excellently well. The Dutch side continued their top form against France as well by defeating the world cup runner ups 4-1. With two victories in the first two matches ensured their place in the quarter final that led Coach Marco van Basten to play a second-string side in the last match against Romania. However, that did not mar their performance as Netherlands defeated Romania 2-0 keeping hundred percent winning record in the group stage. Netherlands progressed to the quarter final of Euro 2008 as the winner of Group C.

Russia did not have a good start in the tournament as they suffered a 1-4 defeat to Spain in the first match. However, Russia bounced back in the second match defeating the defending champion Greece 1-0. With that victory, they kept their quarter final hope alive but they required a victory against Russia in the last group stage match against a strong Sweden. Guss Hiddink boys recorded a superb 2-0 victory over Sweden, which could have been four or five goals victory if Russian players could capitalize their chances. The way they outclassed Sweden must boost up their confidence level ahead of the match against Netherlands. Russia got into the quarter final of the competition as the Group D runner up.

Netherlands vs Russia: Head to Head and Recent Form

The two teams faced each other once so far. Last year, in a friendly match, Dutch side defeated Russia 4-1 and that has been the only meeting between the two sides so far. However, it is for sure that Netherlands has no chance to relax considering that big margin victory of last year because they are expected to see a different Russia side in the quarter final. This time, Russia will defiantly look to take the revenge of that defeat.

Netherlands looks formidable when it comes to recent form. In fact, the Dutch won six out of their last seven matches in all competition. The other match was draw. Russia, on the other hand, won five out of their last seven matches against two defeats in all competition. However, I think, the recent performance of the two teams do not have much to do with this match.

Marco van Basten Unhappy with New Turf on St Jakob Park in Basle

Netherlands coach Marco van Basten is not happy with the new pitch of St Jakob Park in Basle. Netherlands vs Russia quarter final match is going to take place on this new turf of St Jakob Park. The organizers are claiming that the new turf will be ready by the time two sides take on each other. The previous turf was heavily damaged during the previous two matches due to heavy rain. Having seen the damaged turf, UEFA decided to replace the turf with a new one at a cost of €200,000 (about £158,000). However, Marco van Basten questioned the decision of changing turf.

Timesonline reported:

Marco van Basten, the Holland coach, whose side will meet Sweden or Russia in the third quarter-final in Basle on Saturday, was surprised by the decision to replace the turf. “They seem to be replacing pitches quite easily these days, but look at what happened in the Champions League final when they put in a new pitch just before the game and the players were sliding on it,” he said.

Russia Coach Guss Hiddink on a New High

Guss Hiddink has fame to bring success with any side the Dutch coach has given to. With Russia’s progress to the quarter final of Euro 2008 following their 2-0 victory over Sweden, Guss Hiddink rises to a new high. They Dutch coach helped four different countries including Russia to reach the knock out stage of a major football tournament.

First, Hiddink led Netherlands national team to the semi final of 1998 world cup before taking South Korea to the semi final of 2002 world cup, the best ever performance by an Asian team in world cup. Then in 2006 world cup, Austria reached the second round under Guss Hiddink. Now, Russia reached the quarter final of Euro 2008.

Actually, wining a ticket of Euro 2008 final round was itself a success for Guss Hiddink. Russia qualified for the Euro 2008 final round at the expense of football power England. So, that was an excellent performance by the Russia. Now, reaching quarter final has become a huge success for Russia and naturally Guss Hiddink has become a national hero in Russia. Following Russia’s superb victory over Sweden, Russian media is raving about Hiddink and his boys.

AFP reported:

"Thank you, (coach Guus) Hiddink! Even his compatriots did not expect in vain that he would bring Russia into quarter-finals," the official Rossiyskaya Gazeta exulted in a frontpage report headlined "We broke through the Swedish wall."

"Now, Dutch, you tremble!" Rossiyskaya Gazeta added.

"The wait is over!" the Sport Express daily screamed at the top of its frontpage, adding its faith that "now we can wait impatiently for what will come, because this team will never again be afraid."

"It can lose, but it will never surrender. Least of all to the country that bore the man that presented us with this magical evening, and, we hope, will make many more such presents," the daily wrote.

I do not wonder about the reaction of the Russian media. The way Russia played in the match against Sweden, I think, they deserve it. So does Guss Hiddink. Now, the question is that will the Hiddink magic be stopped against Netherlands or will Guss Hiddink be able to do what Otto Rehhagel did with Greece four years ago in Euro 2004?

Netherlands vs Russia: Online Live Score and Updates

I think, you are already planning to watch the match live on your television. However, if you somehow can not manage your time to watch the match on television then you can get the online live score and updates of the match from different online live score websites. Here, I am giving some links of some of the online live score websites:

Live Score
Euro 2008
Sky Sports
Live Score.cz

Netherlands is favorite on pen and paper. However, at this level of tournament, I think, no team can be said favorite because just a one good pass or a wrong pass can make the difference in the match. Both the sides look balanced and attacking. To me, if both the sides can continue their top form in the quarter final then it is going to be a mind blowing match. Now, you decide if you can afford to miss such a seemingly classic match.

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