It was pretty clear through the group stage who the most dominant team in Euro 2008 was: The Netherlands. However, as Yahoo!'s Martin Rogers assessed the situation the best, the Netherlands needed to put that success behind them and clear their slate for the quarterfinals against Russia.
Russia, led by the 27-year-old Andrei Arshavin, looked in control the entire match, and capitalized on some poor play by the Dutch. Holland looked desperate until striker Ruud van Nistelrooy found the back of the net late in regulation to tie the game at one.
The Russians returned to form in the extra time periods, however, dropping two goals in the additional thirty minute block.
The first, set up by Arshavin, and the second was off the foot of Arshavin, as well. The Dutch simply could never find their group stage form in this quarterfinal bout, as the Russians looked in charge from the opening whistle.
Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar kept the Dutch in the game with some beautiful saves, but couldn't seem to keep the Russians out of the goal in extras.
This game is the second surprise at the Euro 2008 in the quarterfinal stage. First it was Group B winner Croatia bowing out to the Turkish nationals. Now, the heavily favored Dutch saw eastern Europe's biggest country at their best.
It shall be quite the interesting semifinal round, as Turkey will battle Germany and Russia takes on the winner of Spain/Italy.
Will David take down the Goliaths of soccer to create a miraculous championship game? We must now wait and see.
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