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A timely lesson learnt for the men in Orange

Netherlands' 2-1 victory over Cameroon was not the stroll many people expected it to be and for the Dutch players, management and fans that is a good thing.

sports Updated: Jun 26, 2010 00:56 IST

Netherlands' 2-1 victory over Cameroon was not the stroll many people expected it to be and for the Dutch players, management and fans that is a good thing.

All too often the Dutch have cruised the early stages of tournaments, convincing themselves that everything was on song, only to come unstuck when the opposition went up a notch.

It happened at the last World Cup and in Euro 2008 when, just at this tournament, they secured qualification with a game to spare.

Four years ago they were knocked out by Portugal in a bad-tempered second-round match while two years ago it was Russia who brought their progress to an abrupt halt.

In this World Cup though, the Dutch will face Slovakia, who shocked the world -- but not Van Marwijk -- by beating world champions Italy 3-2.

"Most of our guys have two, three or even four tournaments in their legs now and we've got to show we've learned from that," said Robin Van Persie.