NATIONAL DISGRACE: Netherlands 8-1 Hungary
Guaranteed top spot, the Dutch turned on the style with Robin van Persie scoring a hat-trick to take his Oranje tally to a record-breaking 41 goals. Robin van Persie set a new national-team scoring landmark with a hat-trick as his already qualified Netherlands side concluded the home element of their FIFA World Cup campaign with an emphatic win against Hungary.
With the Oranje already certain of finishing top of Group D, Van Persie’s treble took him to 41 goals, one more than current assistant coach Patrick Kluivert. Kevin Strootman, Jeremain Lens, Rafael van der Vaart, Arjen Robben and a Szilárd Devecseri own goal completed a memorable victory, with the visitors’ sole reply a Bálazs Dzsudzsák penalty.
Kluivert had scored his 40th international goal exactly ten years ago, against Moldova, and Van Persie wasted little time closing in on that mark as he headed Daryl Janmaat’s cross past goalkeeper Ádám Bogdán with 16 minutes gone. Nine minutes later Strootman nodded in a Lens centre to make it two, and Lens himself added a third in the 38th minute.
After Strootman and Janmaat had hit the post, Van Persie headed in Robben’s expert delivery to equal Kluivert’s total and give the Netherlands a 4-0 half-time advantage. That was reduced two minutes after the restart when Jeffrey Bruma handled and Dzsudzsák converted the penalty, but the home fans were swiftly celebrating again when Robben once more set up Van Persie for the record-breaking strike.
Devecseri’s headed own goal made it 6-1 and the Dutch – who conclude their campaign in Turkey on Tuesday – finished with a flourish courtesy of free-kicks from Van der Vaart and Robben. Hungary, who slip to fourth place, welcome bottom side Andorra in their last qualifier.