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  Results & Reviews: Match 27


Dutch survive
Netherlands finally win shootout, beat Sweden in quarterfinals

The Netherlands beat Sweden 5-4 on penalties at the end of a disappointing 0-0 tie on Saturday to reach the semifinals of Euro 2004.

Olof Mellberg failed to convert the decisive penalty for Sweden when his spot kick was saved by goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Sar and Arjen Robben then clinched victory for the Dutch. Zlatan Ibrahimovic also missed for Sweden, while Phillip Cocu hit the post for the Dutch.

It was the first time in five attempts that the Dutch won a penalty shootout at a major championship.

"At last we were able to do it. Fantastic," said Robben. "We showed character, fought and always remained positive."

Robben got close to scoring in the third minute of extra time but his low shot was fumbled by Swedish goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson onto the post and Roy Makaay was unable to get to rebound.

Quarter-Final 26 June 2004 1945 CET

Algarve, Faro Attendance 27,762


The Netherlands won 5-4 on penalty shootout
Sweden (4-4-2) Isaksson; Nilsson, Jakobsson, Mellberg, Ostlund; M.Jonson (Wilhelmsson 64), Svensson (Kallstrom 81), Linderoth, Ljungberg; Ibrahimovic, Larsson.
Netherlands (4-3-3) van der Sar; Reiziger, de Boer (Bouma 35), Stam, van Bronckhorst; Seedorf, Davids (Heitinga 61), Cocu; van der Meyde (Makaay 87), van Nistelrooy, Robben.
Referee Lubos Michel (SLK)

In the 16th, Isaksson was forced to make an acrobatic one-handed save on Seedorf's free kick from 20 meters. At the other end, Henrik Larsson's shot hit the crossbar and Fredrik Ljungberg's rocket bounced off the post of Van der Sar's goal.

"I think we had a very good game, playing on this level equal with the Dutch team," said Sweden coach Lars Lagerback. "It was a really good match and it could have gone either way."

The Netherlands will face Portugal on Wednesday at Lisbon's Jose Alvalade Stadium in its second straight European championship semifinal. The Dutch reached the last four when they co-hosted the tournament four years ago, only to lose to Italy in a penalty shootout.

The Netherlands had more possession in the first half, but neither team was able to dominate.

The pace of the game was broken down by frequent fouls in midfield, with neither side allowing the other to develop its game.

Andy van der Meyde sent a good low cross to Seedorf after eight minutes, but he mistimed his shot and it was easily caught by Isaksson.

The Swedish goalkeeper was tested a lot harder moments later when he had to stretch into air to punch over a strong shot from van der Mayde.

Seedorf took a free kick from nearly 30 meters (yards) out after 15 minutes but shot straight at Isaksson.

In the 25th, Sweden earned a promising free kick when Giovanni van Bronckhorst brought down Henrik Larsson about 25 meters (yards) from the goal, but his free kick went wide.

Robben replied for the Netherlands, but his shot was easy pray for Isaksson.

Dutch captain Frank de Boer, playing a record 112th international match, brought down Fredrik Ljungberg just outside the penalty area at the half hour to earn the first yellow card of the match.

De Boer, injured in the tackle for which he was booked, went out in the 36th to be replaced by Wilfred Bouma, who was coming off an Achilles' tendon injury.

In the 42nd, Mattias Jonson shook off a Dutch defender and fed Svensson but Bouma blocked his shot in what looked like the best Swedish chance so far.

Seedorf replied with a free kick for the Dutch, curling his shot straight at Isaksson.

At the start of the second half, Robben shook off two Swedish defender to find Ruud van Nistelrooy, but the Manchester United striker's first shot at the goal, a header, went high.

In the 55th, Larsson got off a header across the Dutch goal, Jaap Stam misfired his clearance, Ibrahimovic struck the ball at far post but Cocu got it off the line although it appeared to be going wide.

Seven minutes later, Seedorf found van Nistelrooy with a long ball, the striker chested it down and half-volleyed at the advancing Isaksson. The ball bounced off van Nistelrooy but went just wide of the far post.

In the 75th, Ljungberg made a neat backheel move to give himself space to shoot but the Arsenal midfielder fired just wide.

In the 83rd, Larsson won a high ball over Stam, Ibrahimovic flicked it over to substitute Kim Kallstrom but Johnny Heitinga made a sliding block.

With three minutes remaining in regulation, Christian Wilhelmsson broke through after a Swedish defensive blunder but van der Sar rushed off the line to foil the Swede.

Van Nistelrooy had another header going high, after strong Dutch pressure, and substitute Roy Makaay swung a volley high as time ran out.
- AP



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  Match Stats

0 Goals 0
0 Halftime 0
4 Penalty shootout 5
5 Corners 10
6 Offsides 3
23 Fouls 29
2 Yellow cards 2
0 Red cards 0
32 Free kicks 28
10 Shots on target 14
8 Shots off target 10
2 Woodwork 1
9 Saves 3
1 GL Clearances 1
44% Possession 56%


  The Shootout

Kallstrom 1-0
1-1 Nistelrooy
Larsson 2-1
2-2 Heitinga
Ibrahimovic 2-2
2-3 Reiziger
Ljungberg 3-3
3-3 Cocu
Wilhelmsson 4-3
4-4 Makaay
Mellberg 4-4
4-5 Robben



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