Afellay bags brace against Sweden

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Afellay bags brace against Sweden

Ibrahim Afellay put in an outstanding performance to help the Netherlands to a 4-1 win over Sweden in a Euro 2012 qualifying match in the Amsterdam ArenA on Tuesday night. The midfielder opened his scoring account for the Oranje in the 36th minute and added a second goal after the break.

Ibrahim Afellay put in an outstanding performance to help the Netherlands to a 4-1 win over Sweden in a Euro 2012 qualifying match in the Amsterdam ArenA on Tuesday night. The midfielder opened his scoring account for the Oranje in the 36th minute and added a second goal after the break.

Joris Mathijsen and Erik Pieters close down Sebastian Larsson. Joris Mathijsen and Erik Pieters close down Sebastian Larsson.

Netherlands-Sweden: six PSV players

As many as six PSV players represented their countries at the Amsterdam ArenA on Tuesday night. Afellay and Erik Pieters were included in the Netherlands starting line-up and Andreas Isaksson and Ola Toivonen were handed a start for Sweden. Jeremain Lens came on as a substitute in the 29th minute for Dirk Kuyt, who had sustained an ankle injury, and Marcus Berg came off the bench in the 79th minute to replace Toivonen. The Dutch team provided a lively start to the match against their Group E rivals and Sweden goalkeeper Isaksson was beaten after four minutes. Klaas Jan Huntelaar ended a well-worked move by lashing the ball into the net. Toivonen got a great opportunity to level things. The PSV forward chipped the ball over the advancing goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg but saw his effort go narrowly wide of the post. The Netherlands doubled their lead in the 36th minute, Wesley Sneijder picked up a loose ball and put in into the path of the sprinting Afellay, who finished with a superb left-footed shot to make it 2-0.

Afellay unleashed a superb left-footed shot to make it 2-0. Afellay unleashed a superb left-footed shot to make it 2-0.

Impressive display

Bert van Marwijk´s team continued their impressive display after the break and Afellay was one of the most outstanding players. Ten minutes into the second half, the 24-year-old midfielder rounded Mikael Lustig before delivering an inch-perfect cross for the charging Huntelaar to head in: 3-0. The Netherlands wanted more and made it four in the 59th minute. This time Huntelaar sent in a cross and found Afellay who controlled the ball at the near post and rifled the ball into the top of the net. Andreas Granqvist scored a consolation after 69 minutes and substitute Berg had a shot saved by Stekelenburg as the Netherlands made it four wins from as many Euro 2012 qualifying games.

Afellay celebrates with Khalid Boulahrouz after scoring his first goal for the Oranje. Afellay celebrates with Khalid Boulahrouz after scoring his first goal for the Oranje.
Andreas Isaksson retrieved the ball from the back of the net four times. Andreas Isaksson retrieved the ball from the back of the net four times.

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