Holland began their Group C campaign in emphatic fashion with a 3-0 demolition of World Cup winners Italy.
The game really brought the tournament to light after a drab opening series of matches.
The Dutch took the lead on 26 minutes, Ruud Van Nistelrooy pounced after some very un-characteristic Italian defending. The goal looked a good yard or two offside and even the Real Madrid forward had to double check with the linesman to see if the goal had been given.
The second goal was Dutch football at its finest. From one goal-line to the other in under 20 seconds. Van Bronckhorst cleared the ball off his own goaline before a flowing counter attack which saw Wesley Sneijder finishing well from a Dirk Kuyt knockdown header.
It was no more than Holland deserved and despite an Italian onslaught in the second half, It was the Oranje that produced another fine offensive goal with former Arsenal man Giovanni van Bronckhorst heading in from close range.
It was the perfect start from Van Basten’s men and leaves the Italian’s in mighty trouble in this already tough group. They meet Romania on Friday, whilst Holland can seal their place in the quarter final with victory over World Cup finalists France.