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Monday, June 28, 2010
Coach plays down Van Persie spat

Soccernet staff

Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk played down striker Robin van Persie's reaction to being substituted during his side's 2-1 win over Slovakia.

Netherlands defeat Slovakia.

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Van Persie was brought off with ten minutes left of the last 16 clash and exchanged some angry words with his manager before taking his place on the bench.

Netherlands won thanks to goals from Arjen Robben - playing his first game of the World Cup - and Wesley Sneijder, but van Persie did not take kindly to being replace by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

But Van Marwijk insisted after the game he was not concerned by the Arsenal striker's reaction.

"Robin was a bit disappointed that I replaced him," Van Marwijk said. "That's why he reacted like that. I don't blame him for his reaction though and I'm absolutely not angry," he said.

Slovakia halved the deficit thanks to a Robert Vittek penalty with the last kick of the match, but the striker had squandered two clear cut chances to equalise before Sneijder made the game safe.

Van Marwijk said his side should have won by a more comfortable margin. "I think we should have put the match to bed much sooner," he added.

"We got several chances to net a second goal after the break, but we failed to double our lead. Slovakia then took over the initiative and Maarten Stekelenburg pulled us through on a number of occasions."




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