BUCHAREST, Romania (AFP) –
Netherlands took a significant step towards qualifying for the 2014 World Cup with a comprehensive 4-1 defeat of their main Group D rivals Romania here on Tuesday.
Goals from Jeremein Lens, Bruno Martens and Rafael van der Vaart put the 2010 World Cup finalists firmly in command by half time with Robin van Persie adding a fourth five minutes from time.
Romania’s lone strike came towards the end of the first half from Ciprian Marica.
The win lifted Louis van Gaal’s men up to 12 points after four games and hoping to qualify automatically as group winners – the Oranje clearly recovered from the embarrassment of their first round elimination from Euro 2012.
Romania, who went into this match tied with the Dutch after their surprise win over Turkey last Friday, are placed second, on nine points.
Van der Vaart was instrumental in Holland’s opener, Lens knocking in his eighth minute corner, and the Hamburg midfielder was at the centre of the second too when Martens fired in his free kick.
After Marica had reduced the deficit van der Vaart got on the scoresheet in his own right when converting a penalty in first half stoppage time, with van Persie’s 85th minute contribution completing an excellent night for the Dutch in Bucharest.