Dutch hit six in final Euro 2012 warmup

    Robin van Persie celebrates with Ibrahim Afellay, who also scored twice in the Netherlands' 6-0 win against Northern Ireland.

    Story highlights

    • Netherlands crush Northern Ireland 6-0 in final Euro 2012 warmup match
    • Portugal lose at home to Turkey while England suffer more injury problems
    • Uruguay held by Venezuela in South American World Cup qualifying match
    • Cameroon and Ivory Coast win as African qualifiers start for Brazil 2014
    The Netherlands finally found some pre-Euro 2012 form on Saturday with an ominous 6-0 thrashing of Northern Ireland that will boost the 2010 World Cup finalists' hopes of a second continental title.
    Having lost to German club Bayern Munich and 96th-ranked Bulgaria before beating Slovakia 2-0 on Wednesday, the 1988 European champions needed a good result before heading to the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
    Coach Bert van Marwijk gave a pointer to the opening Group B game against Denmark on June 9 by leaving free-scoring striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on the bench, as Robin van Persie spearheaded the attack with Arjen Robben and Ibrahim Afellay on the wings.
    The Arsenal forward continued the form that made him the English Premier League's top scorer as he netted twice, while Barcelona's Afellay also bagged a double.
    Wes Sneijder scored the second goal with a superb free-kick in the 15th minute as the Inter Milan playmaker shook off an ankle worry that saw him fail to finish the Slovakia game, while defender Ron Vlaar sealed it with a header on 78.
    Denmark also wrapped up preparations with a win, bouncing back from the 3-1 defeat by Brazil to beat Australia 2-0.
    Ronaldo: Winning title career high point
    Ronaldo: Winning title career high point

      JUST WATCHED

      Ronaldo: Winning title career high point

    MUST WATCH

    Ronaldo: Winning title career high point 04:19
    Platini on European football
    Platini on European football

      JUST WATCHED

      Platini on European football

    MUST WATCH

    Platini on European football 04:58
    Daniel Agger netted a first-half penalty and fellow central defender Andreas Bjelland doubled the lead in the second half.
    However Portugal -- who face Germany in the other Group B opener -- crashed to a disappointing 3-1 home defeat against Turkey as Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty.
    Having been held goalless by Poland and Macedonia, the Euro 2004 finalists needed a good result but went 2-0 down as Toulouse striker Umut Bulut scored in each half.
    Midfielder Nani reduced the deficit in the 57th minute, but Real Madrid top scorer Ronaldo's penalty was saved by Volkan Demirel before defender Pepe diverted an attempted clearance by teammate Ricardo Costa into his own net near the end of the match.
    Co-hosts Poland, who kick off the tournament with a Group A match against Greece on Friday, won 4-0 against European minnows Andorra.
    Ludovic Obraniak and striker Robert Lewandowski scored before Jakub Blaszczykowski's penalty made it 3-0 at halftime, while Marcin Wasilewski added another spot-kick after the break in front of a 30,000 crowd in Warsaw.
    New England boss Roy Hodgson enjoyed his second successive 1-0 victory, but faces more injury problems following the home match against Belgium.
    Hodgson has already lost midfielders Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard for Euro 2012, and now Gary Cahill needs a scan on a suspected broken jaw and fellow central defender John Terry will have a tight hamstring checked.
    Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck scored the only goal of the game in the first half, but was taken off as a precaution in the second period.
    Croatia conceded a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Norway, as striker Eduardo's second-half header was canceled out by Tarik Elyounoussi.
    Slaven Bilic's team, who beat Estonia 3-1 on May 25, will face the Republic of Ireland in their Group C opener next weekend.
    In World Cup qualifiers, Uruguay and Venezuela moved to the top of the South American group after a 1-1 draw in Montevideo.
    However, both nations could be overtaken by Argentina and Chile, who were to play fifth-placed Ecuador and bottom team Bolivia respectively later on Saturday.
    In African qualifiers, Cameroon's Indomitable Lions made a winning start to their bid to appear at the World Cup for the seventh time, beating Democratic Republic of Congo 1-0.
    With captain Samuel Eto'o suspended, the winner came via a second-half penalty from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.
    In Group B, Tunisia beat Equatorial Guinea 3-1 while Sierra Leone won 2-1 at home Cape Verde Islands.
    In Group C, Ivory Coast opened with a 2-0 win over 10-man Tanzania thanks to goals from European Champions League winners Salomon Kalou and Didier Drogba, while Morocco fought back to earn a 1-1 draw away to Gambia.
    In Group D, African Cup of Nations champions Zambia lost 2-0 away to Sudan -- and next weekend face Ghana, who thrashed Lesotho 7-0.
    Senegal beat Liberia 3-1 in Group J, while on Friday Egypt won 2-0 against Mozambique in Group G.