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Dutch unimpressive in tie
May 30th, 2008 6:45AM



[EURO '08 COUNTDOWN] The Netherlands had to settle for a 1-1 tie with Denmark Thursday in a friendly played in Eindhoven.

Ruud van Nistelrooy scored the only goal for the Dutch, who started with four attacking players -- van Nistelrooy playing in front of Rafael van der Vaart, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder.

But the middle of the Oranje defense -- John Heintiga and Joris Mathijsen -- looked vulnerable, and the Danes equalized through Christian Poulsen 11 minutes into the second half.

ITALIAN TRIDENT. Recalled strikers Alessandro Del Piero and Antonio Cassano could get starts in Italy's three-player attack when Italy faces Belgium Friday in Belgium.

Star Luca Toni is expected to be the lone striker with Del Piero and Cassano, both back after long absences, in wide position.

"I haven't decided anything," said Coach Roberto Donadoni, "but in my idea of a three-man attack, I definitely see Del Piero on the left and Cassano on the right, although Cassano can also play on the opposite side. We'll try things out against Belgium."

Also in the mix for wide spots are Antonio Di Natale and Argentine-born Mauro Camoranesi for playing time.

POGREBNYAK HURT. Russia could lose Zenit St. Petersburg forward striker Pavel Pogrebnyak for Euro 2008 after he suffered a serious knee injury in Wednesday's friendly against Serbia.

He left the game shortly after scoring the opening goal in a 2-1 win.

Pogrebnyak, 24, scored 10 goals for Zenit in UEFA Cup play to finish as the competition's co-leading scorer.

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