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Dutch trio hurt in 1-1 draw with Australia

Written by: Staff

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, June 4: Three Dutch players were injured in a 1-1 draw with Australia in a World Cup warm-up today.

Midfielder Philip Cocu was the first Dutchman to limp off after he sustained a thigh injury 10 minutes before the break.

Midfielder Wesley Sneijder and defender Giovanni van Bronckhorst also suffered ankle problems in the second period.

Van Bronckhorst was hurt by a challenge from Scott Chipperfield, who was sent off after receiving his second yellow card.

Dutch coach Marco van Basten described Sneijder's injury as serious.

''Sneijder is limping and his ankle is strapped up,'' van Basten told reporters.

''We'll have to wait 24 hours to find out how serious it is. We have to wait and see how it develops.'' Netherlands, who started with their first-choice team, opened the scoring after nine minutes when Andre Ooijer's shot was blocked by goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and Ruud van Nistelrooy netted the rebound.

The hosts, with wingers Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie in good form, played well but wasted several scoring chances.

Australia's Tim Cahill equalised from close range nine minutes into the second half after a penalty from Mark Viduka, who was fouled by Joris Mathijsen, struck the crossbar.

Van Basten said he would wait until Wednesday before deciding whether to replace Rafael van der Vaart.

Midfielder van der Vaart, who had ankle surgery in April, suffered a new ankle injury in training last week.

''If we replace him, the most logical step is that we call up a player from the under-21 squad,'' said van Basten.

Netherlands start their World Cup campaign against Serbia and Montenegro in Leipzig next Sunday.

Australia's opening game is against Japan in Kaiserslautern on June 12.


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