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Last Updated: Friday, 16 June 2006, 19:28 GMT 20:28 UK
Van Basten praises Holland spirit
Holland coach Marco van Basten
Holland coach Marco van Basten praised his side's fighting spirit in the 2-1 victory over Ivory Coast which secured the Dutch a place in the next round.

He said: "We started very well but after that it became difficult. In the second half we could only defend."

"It was a very difficult match because Ivory Coast have a very good team, but I must pay a compliment to my players because they fought right to the end.

"We'll take it step by step. We'll see how it goes against Argentina next."

Goals from Robin van Persie and Ruud van Nistelrooy gave Holland a comfortable lead before Bakari Kone pulled one back for Ivory Coast.

Van Persie spoke of his pride at progressing from the so-called 'group of death.'

We played badly but we have to learn from it

Mark van Bommel

He said: "We worked hard. We played well at times, we should be proud that we reached the next round.

But midfielder Mark van Bommel was more critical of his side's performance.

"Until leading 2-0 we had played well, then we lost it," he said.

"We played badly but we have to learn from it. Ivory Coast were strong opponents. They were always dangerous."

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