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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Dutch Put Russia to the Sword

APHolland's Babel, center, following his goal with an unorthodox celebration with Sneidjer in Amsterdam on Wednesday.
AMSTERDAM -- Four Dutch goals in the second half made up for a poor first half as the Netherlands ran out comfortable 4-1 winners over Russia in their friendly international Wednesday.

Ryan Babel opened the scoring with a goal in the 68th minute with fellow substitute Wesley Sneijder doubling the lead two minutes later.

Spartak Moscow midfielder Vladimir Bystrov scored the best goal of the night to give the visitors some hope, but Joris Mathijsen added a third with a header after 79 minutes, before Rafael van der Vaart converted a penalty to make it 4-1 two minutes from the end.

Marco van Basten, missing 11 players through injury, was forced to go against the Netherlands' traditional attacking nature by sending out a team without any wingers, and the improvised team lacked the creativity to pierce the well-organized Russian defense.

Van Basten said afterwards: "We looked secure with our starting lineup but it didn't work out as we planned, so we made some changes at halftime.

"We took more risks and played more football with Sneijder and Babel, who both did very well."

Russia's Dutch coach, Guus Hiddink, agreed the Dutch had the better of the second half -- and much of the first half, too.

"We didn't have the power to harm them, but we kept them down to one chance before the break," he said.

In a lackluster first half, the home team threatened Igor Akinfejev only once, while the Russians frustrated Hiddink by failing to launch a single dangerous attack.

Two minutes before the interval, Clarence Seedorf set Giovanni van Bronckhorst away, but his cross was missed by Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink before Van der Vaart fired wide from a tight angle.

A double Dutch substitution with Sneijder and Babel coming on revived the home team's hopes and Sneijder twice tested Akinfeyev with long-distance strikes, while Vennegoor of Hesselink came close to his first international goal with a close range header.

Midway through the second half, Babel broke the deadlock with a well-taken shot and two minutes later, Sneijder made it 2-0 when he beat Akinfeyev with a fierce shot at the near post.

Bystrov pulled on back for the visitors with a fine volley after the Dutch defense failed to clear a cross, but Mathijsen restored the two-goal lead with a close range unmarked header from a corner minutes later.

Van der Vaart completed the scoring after Dennis Kolodin handled in the box. It was his eighth goal in his 41st international match.