heartache for dutch

AMSTERDAM- Dutch media yesterday lamented the Netherlands' quarterfinal exit at Euro 2008 but hailed the Russia team coached by Dutchman Guus Hiddink, saying they fully deserved their 3-1 victory.

AMSTERDAM- Dutch media yesterday lamented the Netherlands' quarterfinal exit at Euro 2008 but hailed the Russia team coached by Dutchman Guus Hiddink, saying they fully deserved their 3-1 victory.

"Hiddink knocks out Oranje," top circulation De Telegraaf said in a front-page headline after Saturday's extra-time defeat in Basel. "The dream is in smithereens."

"Hiddink sends Oranje home," newspaper AD wrote on its website, praising Russia for their technical superiority and their playmaker Andrei Arshavin in particular.

"Russia dominated, brilliant players such as Arshavin created chances. Netherlands had to fall back, made errors and got into tight corners," it said.

The 27-year-old Arshavin was the architect of Russia's victory, setting up their second goal and scoring the third in the closing stages of extra time.

De Volkskrant agreed that the best team won, saying on its website: "Guus Hiddink's team was the deserved winner in a match that it dominated much of the time."

Some 7,5 million people in this football-mad nation of 16 million watched the game. Nearly four million people then tuned into a postmortem of the match by sports commentators on Saturday night, ANP news agency reported.

The mood was gloomy among thousands of spectators watching the game in the main squares in Amsterdam, a police spokesman said, adding that fans had not caused any trouble.

l A 22-year-old Austrian man who has admitted to shooting at a group of Turks celebrating after a Euro 2008 match, has turned himself in, police in the western Austrian town of Bregenz said yesterday.

The young man said "he could no longer stand the noise" from honking and chanting fans after Turkey beat Croatia in the quarterfinal on Friday, and shot at a passing car from the balcony of his apartment with an air gun, police commander Heinz Metzler said.

An 18-year-old Turkish fan was hit in the head by the diabolo bullet and had to be taken to hospital. The culprit will be given a temporary weapons ban and faces charges of bodily harm.

Turkey beat Croatia 3-1 in a penalty shootout after a 1-all stalemate. - Reuters/Sapa-AFP

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