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World Cup: Netherlands vs. Slovakia; Netherlands win, 2-1

June 28, 2010 |  9:18 am

Like clockwork, the Oranje are into the World Cup quarterfinals.

The Netherlands reached the final eight Monday when standouts Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder scored in each half of a 2-1 victory over Slovakia.

The Oranje, who have never won soccer's biggest prize, went ahead in the 18th minute when Robben cut inside from the right wing and found the net with a low, precise shot from 20 yards. Robben sat out the first two group matches with a hamstring injury, but his return has rekindled the crafty Dutch offense.

Sneijder doubled the lead into an empty net in the 84th after a gamble by Slovak goalkeeper Jan Mucha backfired.

Netherlands goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg preserved the win with two key saves in the 67th and the Dutch extended their team-record unbeaten streak to 23 games. Robert Vittek scored on a last-second penalty kick for Slovakia, then rushed to the net to retrieve the ball, only to hear the final whistle.

In the quarterfinals, the Netherlands will face either five-time champion Brazil or Chile, who play later Monday.

-- Associated Press

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