Total football at work: Today in history: Netherlands mesmerise Ghana

A storming attacking display late in the second half handed the Netherlands a convincing 4-1 win over an overwhelmed Ghana in a pre-World Cup friendly here on Tuesday in Rotterdam.

The Dutch took a one-goal lead into the half-time interval after Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt pounced on a loose ball on the half hour.

Back from the break, Milovan Rajevac made five quick substitutions, sending John Mensah, Andre Ayew, Prince Tagoe, Asamoah Gyan and Dominic Adiyiah as he withdrew Vorsah, Quincy, Amoah, Appiah and Sulley.

Despite missing Bayern Munich ace Arjen Robben, who was nursing a sore hip, the hosts went on to do more damage with three more goals in the final 20 minutes. Real Madrid midfielder Rafael van der Vaart doubled the Netherlands’ lead in the 72nd minute, only for Asamoah Gyan, of French side Rennes, to reduce arrears six minutes later.

Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder produced the masterpiece of the night with the Netherlands’ third goal on 80 minutes.

Sneijder, fresh from helping his Italian club claim an historic treble of the Serie A title, Italian Cup and Champions League, unleashed a volley from 20 yards out that flew past Ghana ‘keeper Richard Kingson and into the net. Robin van Persie made the scoreline look even more one-sided when he converted from the penalty spot three minutes from full-time.

The Netherlands were coached by Bert van Marwijk, and he did set a new national record of stretching their unbeaten streak to 18 consecutive matches.

Ghana can be forgiven for looking a bit rusty because this was only their first warm up friendly.

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