The Netherlands continued their dominance in World Cup qualifying with an incredible 8-1 rout of Hungary.
Robin van Persie led the way with a hat trick to become the highest-scoring player in his country's history with 41 goals in 80 matches, passing Patrick Kluivert, who was watching on the sidelines.
Hat trick for Robin van Persie. He breaks the Netherlands scoring record with his 41st career goal.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) October 11, 2013
This match did not matter much for the Dutch, who already qualified for Brazil as the Group D winners in UEFA qualifying. They entered the day eight points clear of second-place Hungary.
However, this was still an impressive display by one of the world's best squads.
As for Hungary, this puts the squad in a tough position to earn a spot in the playoff. They stand two points back in a three-way battle with Turkey and Romania with only one match to play.
It did not take long for the Netherlands to take control of this match. In the 16th minute, Arjen Robben crossed the ball directly to Van Persie, who fired a header past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
The squad piled on in the first half with another header by Kevin Strootman in the 25th minute followed by an easy left-footed shot by Jeremain Lens in the 38th minute to make it 3-0.
At this point, Fox Soccer Trax noted that there were few positives to take away for the road team:
Coming up to the half, the Dutch are now up 3-0 on Hungary, just ripping them apart. Russia's added another on Luxembourg, 2-0 there.— FOX Soccer Trax (@FOXSoccerTrax) October 11, 2013
ESPN's Dale Johnson suggested that the score was nevertheless important for Hungary, so it was important to keep fighting:
Netherlands 3 - 0 Hungary (Jeremain Lens 38') - goal difference could be very important so Hungary need to stop the rot.— Dale Johnson (@dalejohnsonESPN) October 11, 2013
Unfortunately, this did not change much, as a counterattack shortly before the half led to yet another header goal by Van Persie. According to ESPN's Paul Carr, this was a noteworthy milestone for the Manchester United player:
With two today, Robin van Persie has 40 int'l goals, tying Patrick Kluivert for most in Netherlands history.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) October 11, 2013
Heading into the half, Hungary not only trailed 4-0, but had only controlled the ball for 22 percent of the match.
There was sign of hope in the 47th minute after Dutch defender Jeffrey Bruma was called for a handball in the box. Balazs Dzsudzsak scored to make it 4-1, but that moment of joy was incredibly brief.
In the 53rd minute, RVP finally broke the national scoring record with an easy goal while one-on-one with the keeper. It seemed no one was happier than the former record holder at this point.
Things continued to get worse for the Hungarians, as a Szilard Devecseri own goal made the score 6-1.
Holland piled on toward the end with goals by Rafael Van der Vaart and Robben to make it an embarrassing 8-1 final. Bleacher Report football provided all the commentary needed:
Netherlands 8-1 Hungary. Wow.— B/R Football (@br_football) October 11, 2013
This result sends a message to the rest of the world that the Netherlands will be a force to be reckoned with. Meanwhile, Hungary now fall two points behind Turkey and Romania in Group D, with both squads winning on Friday.
Robin van Persie, Netherlands: A+
There is not much negative to say about the new leading scorer in Dutch history. While he did not need to do much to create the goals, he was always in the right place and clearly knows how to finish when he gets an opportunity.
With Van Persie's skill up front, this certainly will be a tough team to beat in Brazil.
Arjen Robben, Netherlands: A+
Not only did he score a goal himself at the end of the match, but he was credited for an assist on all three of Van Persie's goals. He controlled the tempo on offense and continued to create chances for everyone else on the roster.
Who was the Man of the Match?
In a match during which almost everyone played well, Robben stood out among the rest.
Adam Bogdan, Hungary: D-
It was nearly impossible to stop most of the shots by the Netherlands on Friday, but it is hard to find good qualities in a goalkeeper who allowed eight goals in a loss.
Bogdan does not face elite competition during the season on the Bolton Wanderers, and that seems to hurt him when going against the top teams in the world. This could hold Hungary back from getting a bid to the World Cup.
Balazs Dzsudzsak, Hungary: A-
Few players did anything of value for Hungary in the match, but Balazs Dzsudzsak was probably the only one who actually put together a strong performance.
Not only did he score the lone goal on a penalty shot, he also provided a quality offensive effort with multiple shots on net and other close looks. He represented rare activity on the attack and succeeded where his teammates failed.
|M||Nigel De Jong||B-|
|M||Kevin Strootman (Off 81')||A|
|M||Rafael Van der Vaart||A-|
|F||Robin Van Persie (Off 62')||A+|
|M||Dirk Kuyt (On 62')||B-|
|M||Leroy Fer (On 81')||B|
|M||Jozsef Varga (Off 45')||C+|
|M||Tamas Hajnal (Off 45')||C|
|F||Krisztian Nemeth (Off 79')||C-|
|D||Szilard Devecseri (On 45')||F|
|M||Akos Elek (On 45')||C|
|M||Nemanja Nikolic (On 79')||B|
Netherlands have one more match, a road contest against Turkey on Oct. 15, before officially preparing for Brazil.
Hungary will play on the same day, but they will have a much more important matchup at home against Andorra. It will likely take a win and some help in order to earn the second-place spot in the group.
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