The Dutch national team has recovered somewhat on Saturday from the false start against Turkey in the qualifying series for the 2022 World Cup. The Orange won 2-0 against Latvia, although that was a meager result given the large difference in strength.
Steven Berghuis opened the score in Amsterdam in the 32nd minute with his first international goal. Luuk de Jong took care of the final score twenty minutes before time. It was Frank de Boer’s third victory in his eighth game as national coach.
After two games, the Netherlands is in third place in group G, three points behind Turkey and Montenegro. The Turks again convinced with a 0-3 victory over Norway.
As part of a Fieldlab test, the Netherlands-Latvia had five thousand spectators in the Johan Cruijff ArenA. They saw the French referee Stéphanie Frappart write history by being the first woman to whistle a match for Orange.
The players of the Dutch national team started the first home game in the World Cup qualification with a statement against the human rights violations in Qatar, which hosts next year’s World Cup. The starting eleven came onto the field in black shirts with the imprint ‘Football Support Change’. The KNVB hopes that many countries will support this initiative.
Stand in the World Cup qualifying group of Orange
- 1. Turkey 2-6 (+5)
- 2. Montenegro 2-6 (+4)
- 3. Netherlands 2-3 (0)
- 4. Norway 2-3 (0)
- 5. Latvia 2-0 (-3)
- 6. Gibraltar 2-0 (-6)
Orange from the first minute on half of Latvia
After last Wednesday’s failure against Turkey (4-2 loss), De Boer made three changes to his line-up. Luuk de Jong, Davy Klaassen and Denzel Dumfries were allowed to start and Donyell Malen, Marten de Roon and Kenny Tete started on the bench.
With Luuk de Jong at the point of the attack, the game picture was clear from the first whistle: Orange attacked and Latvia – the number 136 in the FIFA ranking – withdrew to its own half.
It provided a number of good opportunities for the Netherlands, usually with Klaasen in a leading role. The Ajax player was unable to fumble the ball over the line in the sixth minute, headed twenty minutes later into the hands of keeper Roberts Ozols and shortly afterwards hit the bottom of the crossbar with another bet with his head.
After half an hour it was hit. Right winger Berghuis came in and he placed the ball nicely in the far corner with his left leg. The 29-year-old Feyenoorder finally made his first goal in the orange shirt in his 23rd international match.
Photo series: First victory Orange in World Cup qualification
De Jong heads in second goal
It was a small miracle that the halftime score remained 1-0. Memphis Depay shot just wide from a promising position and Luuk de Jong signed for the second attempt by the Orange on the crossbar.
In the second half, the Dutch national team also had more than 75 percent of the ball possession. Owen Wijndal had to intervene after ten minutes when Vladimirs Kamess seemed to be able to go alone on Tim Krul after a long ball.
Working on the goal difference, which is more important in the World Cup qualification than mutual results in the event of a tie in the final score, the Orange did not really succeed in front of the Latvian goal despite quite a few dangerous moments. In the 69th minute it became 2-0. Luuk de Jong headed a corner from Memphis behind Ozols.
De Boer brought Ryan Gravenberch, Donny van de Beek, Ryan Babel, Calvin Stengs and Steven Bergwijn, but the biggest chance in the final phase was for Latvia. Andrejs Ciganiks hit the post via the fingertips of Krul, making it 2-0.
View the results, the program and the standings of the World Cup qualification
Source site www.nu.nl