Moments of madness temper Dutch joy

<-- Marco van Basten

Netherlands coach Marco van Basten admitted to mixed feelings after watching his team come back from three goals down to complete a historic 4-3 victory against Austria in Vienna on Wednesday night.

Individual mistakes
Klaas Jan Huntelaar scored the winner with his second of the night four minutes from time, with Johnny Heitinga and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink also on the scoresheet as the Dutch turned a three-goal deficit into victory for the first time in their history. "I saw some good things and some less good things," said Van Basten. "I'm glad we at least got the win, but the beginning was not good and that's an understatement. The three goals we conceded were very poor and came down to individual mistakes. Joris Mathijsen and Henk Timmer simply didn't do what we asked of them."

Tactical changes
Unsurprisingly, former international striker Van Basten was far more satisfied with the second half, in which his charges hit three unanswered goals: "After [Wilfred] Bouma replaced Mathijsen, there was an improvement. He was more resolute, sharper and faster. It was also better when Wesley Sneijder moved into Demy de Zeeuw's position and [Clarence] Seedorf moved into Sneijder's. We dictated the game in the second half and had a little luck at the end as well. We knew there were still 45 minutes left, and that's what I told them. We played a lot faster too, which was pleasing."

Mental resilience
With UEFA EURO 2008™ rapidly approaching, Van Basten will have been delighted by his team's mental resilience. "I've never been involved in such a crazy game with the Oranje," he added, scratching his head to come up with a comparable achievement. "The craziest I can remember was a [1984 UEFA European Championship qualifier] I played in against Ireland in Dublin, when we came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2."