Football: Unconvincing Dutch sweep 10-man China aside

Goals from Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder after China were reduced to ten men early in the first half saw Holland claim an unconvincing victory in Beijing on Tuesday.

Manchester United striker Van Persie opened the scoring after the newly installed Holland captain coolly converted a penalty on 11 minutes.

The game was put beyond China's reach midway through the second half with a cheeky backheel from Sneijder, who had lost the captain's armband to Van Persie amid concerns from Dutch coach Louis van Gaal about his fitness.

China were on the backfoot from early on, after they gifted the visitors a penalty and then had a man sent off in the friendly match which was at times highly competitive.

For Holland, it was the second below-par performance of their Asia tour, after they won their first game with a 0-3 victory against Indonesia on Friday.

But the win in Beijing was sweet for Van Persie, who scored as he captained Holland for only the second time, with his predecessor starting the game on the substitute bench.

Fifth-ranked Holland, who currently lead World Cup qualifying Group D by seven points, were strong favourites to win before the game.

But it was China, ranked 95, who started brightly and almost took an unexpected lead when captain Zheng Zhi headed over from close range after eight minutes.

The game then fell apart for China amid two minutes of first half madness.

Zhang Linpeng was the first player to lose his head, clattering into the back of Arjen Robben after he ran onto a pass in the box.

The Guangzhou Evergrande defender received a yellow card, before Van Persie converted the penalty, sending goalkeeper Zeng Cheng the wrong way with a left-footed drive inside the right hand post.

Moments later it was Qin Sheng who lost his cool, recklessly lunging into Jonathan de Guzman with both feet as the Swansea City loanee attempted to control the ball outside the box.

The defender was given his marching orders, and while China soon regained their composure, they rarely threatened the Dutch goal for the remainder of the game.

The match was settled on 66 minutes by Sneijder, who is being tipped for a move from Turkish side Galatasaray to Premier League outfit Chelsea.

The midfielder nonchalantly flicked the ball in the net after Robben crossed from the left, ending one of the few noteworthy moves of the match.