Text size

The headline in Sovietski Sport left no room for doubt. "Court expense" screamed the headline in the Russian daily after Russia coach Guus Hiddink was handed a 4-1 defeat by his native Holland on Wednesday night.

Hiddink, Sovietski Sport hinted was too involved in his court case with the Dutch tax authorities to prepare Israel's Euro 2008 Group E rival for the friendly with the Netherlands.

The Russian press was outraged by the team's scandalous defensive performance, while Sport Express complained of the lack of imagination showed by the team's forwards.

"The defeat was all the more painful given that the Netherlands fielded a second string team," wrote Sport Express.

Group E leader Croatia scored a 2-1 win over Norway to earn the praises of the local press.

"Everything is is order in [coach] Slaven Bilic's kingdom,' wrote Sportska Novosti.

Estonia, which plays in Israel on March 28, four days after Dror Kashtan's team takes on England, lost 1-0 to Slovenia after an unmemorable match in Domzale. Estonia's Martin Reim came on a as a substitute to end his international career with a European record equaling 150th national team cap.

Srecko Katanec's Macedonia, which is level with England and Israel in Group E, scored a 1-0 win in Albania.