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Tactics & Analysis

Cocu and Heitinga recovering from slight knocks

FREIBURG, Germany, June 17 (Reuters) - Philip Cocu and John Heitinga missed the Netherlands' first training session on Saturday after the 2-1 win over Ivory Coast that took them into the second round of the World Cup.

'Both players are slightly injured,' KNVB media officer Kees Jansma said. 'Philip (Cocu) has an ankle injury while Heitinga strained his hamstring.'

For Cocu it could mean that the milestone of winning his 100th cap will be postponed for a few days. Netherlands face Argentina on Wednesday in Frankfurt to decide who will finish top of Group C.

With six players already booked there is a possibility that coach Marco van Basten decides to take no risks and plays a largely second-string team against Argentina.

The South Americans also played on Friday, trouncing Serbia & Montenegro 6-0 in the performance of the World Cup so far.

'The most important is that we can start with our strongest team in the second round,' captain and keeper Edwin van der Sar said.

'Therefore it might be wise to take no risk, but it is the coach's decision.

'You can not start against Argentina with a plan about what result you want to have, we are not capable of doing that.'

Van der Sar, who will match the Dutch record held by Frank de Boer of 112 caps if he plays on Wednesday, defended the exuberant celebrations of the players after the match against Ivory Coast.

Dutch media reported that the celebrations seemed like the Netherlands players thought they had won the World Cup already.

'The party afterwards was something between us players and the fans and no other reason. We and the fans enjoyed it and that is where it is all about.'