AMSTERDAM (AP) — Romania beat Estonia 2-0 Tuesday to seal a berth in next month's European playoffs for a chance at the 2014 World Cup, while the already-qualified Netherlands beat Turkey by the same margin.
Ciprian Marica converted a 31st-minute penalty for Romania and doubled the lead with just 10 minutes to go to ensure his team finished second in Group D. Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder both scored as the Netherlands netted early in each half and comfortably defended their lead against a Turkey team that could not convert the few clear chances it created.
At Ferenc Puskas Stadium in Budapest, Hungary could only beat Andorra 2-0 after being hammered 8-1 by the Netherlands on Friday. Nemanja Nikolic scored in the 52nd and Ildefonso Lima conceded an own goal in the 77th.
Turkey started the match level on points with Romania and still a chance of a playoff place, but Robben dented Turkey's hopes in just the 8th minute when his free kick from 30 meters out on the right touchline curled directly into the far corner of Volkan Demirel's goal.
The Netherlands' two Turkish-based players combined to make it 2-0 and silence the crowd immediately after the break. Galatasaray midfielder Sneijder calmly fired the ball low into the corner after a quick pass by Fenerbahce forward Drik Kuyt.
Kuyt had only just come on as a substitute for striker Robin van Persie, who was taken off as a precaution. "He was complaining about his calf," Robben said. "I don't know how serious it is. I hope for his sake it's not too bad."
Turkey pressed hard for a goal before and after the break, but was let down by poor finishing and some good goalkeeping by Jasper Cillessen in only his second international. Three-time World Cup runner-up the Netherlands finished undefeated in the group with nine wins and a draw, scoring 34 times and conceding just five.
The strong qualification performance came in a weak group and Robben said the Netherlands should not yet be considered a major threat next year in Brazil. "We're not one of the favorite countries, but we are taking steps forward and that is positive," he said.