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Superior Dutch sweep Austria aside

© Reuters 2002

VIENNA, Oct 16 (Reuters) - A superior Dutch team swept to the top of Group Three of Euro 2004 qualifying with a 3-0 defeat of a sleepy Austria side on Wednesday.

The visitors were firmly in command, sealing the game after 30 minutes with goals from Clarence Seedorf (16), Philip Cocu (19) and Roy Makaay (30).

The hosts, who played with 10 men after Martin Hiden was sent off with a second yellow card in the 78th minute, made goal chances in the second half after substitutions brought in younger players, but it was too late to reverse the onslaught.

"The Dutch deserved to win, they really are a class above," said Austrian coach Hans Krankl.

"I cannot blame my players, maybe they showed too much respect, held back a bit, but realistically there wasn't much they could do."

The first goal, 15 minutes into the game, caught the Austrian defence napping. Makaay slipped the ball to an unmarked Patrick Kluivert, who tucked it into Seedorf's path for the Milan player to fire cleanly into the goal.

Cocu scored the second after latching on to a pass from Seedorf and the Dutch sealed the win with a shot by Makaay that left Austrian goalkeeper Alex Manninger no chance for a save.

The Dutch are now tied with Austria and the Czech Republic on six points, but go top of Group Three on goal difference.

Moldova and Belarus are still without any points.

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