Wednesday, March 31, 2021
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As a striker, Van de Looi thought De Wit was a logical choice for the Jong Oranje | draw NOW

Erwin van de Looi thought that the tactics of the Dutch Juniors to play without a real striker turned out well on Saturday against Young Germany. The national coach was only disappointed that his team was unable to cross the line in the group match at the European Championship-21: 1-1.

Van de Looi opted for a formation with winger Justin Kluivert and midfielder Dani de Wit in the attack. Myron Boadu, who was still in the starting line-up against Young Romania on Wednesday, stayed on the bench throughout the game. Brian Brobbey only played for two minutes.

“Dani was our top scorer in the qualifying series, he can certainly score a goal”, Van de Looi told the US. “The fact that he plays in midfield at AZ doesn’t mean much to me. We play with a completely different system at the Dutch Juniors.”

“I choose two moving forwards, with two ‘tens’ on the outside,” he referred to Cody Gakpo and the early-retired Noa Lang. “I think that worked out well, Kluivert also scored a goal. It is only disappointing that Germany still scores in the final phase.”

Justin Kluivert made the only goal of the Dutch Juniors after a blunder by the keeper.

‘Germany wanted to make football impossible for us’

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The fact that the opportunities in Székesfehérvár in Hungary were scarce, according to Van de Looi, was mainly due to the tactics of the Germans, who played with five defenders.

“Germany had really tuned in to us and tried to make football impossible for us. I thought we were playing fine and therefore there was no need to bring an extra striker. Germany is not just any opponent.”

The Juniors have to win the last group match against Hungary on Tuesday anyway, but they no longer have complete control over reaching the quarter-finals. Germany and Romania can come to an agreement by playing a 2-2 draw.

“It would be very clever if they succeed in that, but I am not counting on that,” said Van de Looi. “But I can’t blame the team tonight, we really fought.”

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