Robben is back on song as Dutch glide into last eight


COACH Bert van Marwijk hailed Arjen Robben after the fit-again winger capped his first start of the tournament with the goal that set Holland on their way to the quarter-finals.

Robben’s fine individual strike and a simple second for Wesley Sneijder secured the Dutch a last-eight clash with Brazil, despite Robert Vittek’s injury-time consolation from the penalty spot.

Holland were again efficient rather than dazzling, but Robben’s return to the starting line-up provided spark and Van Marwijk is delighted to have the former Chelsea man at his disposal.

“I am so pleased that Robben is fit again. He was decisive for us,” he said. “It was important that he played for 70 minutes and I think for him he has just passed that fear factor having recently returned from injury.”

Bayern Munich star Robben opened the scoring in style on 18 minutes when he gathered the ball and ran at the Slovakia defence before cutting inside and rifling a low shot past Jan Mucha from 25 yards.

With six minutes remaining Dirk Kuyt evaded goalkeeper Mucha and squared for Sneijder to tap the killer second goal that rendered Vittek’s penalty – the last kick of the game – irrelevant.