[WORLD CUP COUNTDOWN] Arjen Robben, one of perhaps a half dozen players capable of carrying his team to the 2010 World
Cup championship, became the latest World Cup injury casualty, suffering a hamstring injury in the Netherlands' 6-1 win over Hungary.
“He felt a sharp pain -- that can’t be good,” said Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk. “Treatment for these injuries has improved hugely, so I’m not giving up hope yet.”
Robben, who led Bayern Munich to the German Bundesliga title and second place in the UEFA Champions League, joins former Chelsea teammates, Michael Ballack (Germany) and Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), to be injured since the 30-player rosters were submitted to FIFA on May 11.
(Two other Chelsea stars, Ghana's Michael Essien and Nigeria's John Obi Mikel, have been ruled out of the World Cup with injuries suffered earlier in the year.)
The Netherlands wasn't the only team to get an injury scare.
Slovakia defeated Costa Rica, 3-0, but its Liverpool defender, Martin Skrtel, left the game with an ankle injury.
Honduras fell to Romania, 3-0, and had stars David Suazo and Wilson Palacios come off with injuries.
Other warmup action:
-- Host South Africa edged Denmark, 1-0, on Katlego Mphela's goal in the 75th minute.
-- Defending champion Italy had to settle for a 1-1 tie with Switzerland in Geneva. Both goals by Swiss midfielder Gokhan Inler and Italy's Fabio Quagliarella came in the first quarter of an hour.
-- Serbia got first-half goals from Milos Krasic, Dejan Stankovic, Nenad Milijas and Marko Pantelic and beat Cameroon, 4-3.
-- Ghana beat Latvia, 1-0, on substitute Quincy Owusu-Abeyie's goal.