The Netherlands regained control of World Cup qualification Group G with a 1-0 win over Latvia on Friday. The Netherlands beat Latvia by a razor-thin margin controlling the game providing a little prolonged excitement.
Oranje won an unimpressive football match in Riga when Davy Klaassen scored the game’s only goal in the first half. In their previous two matches against Montenegro and Turkey Louis van Gaal’s side scored 10 goals but struggled against a team that has only won World Cup qualification matches against Andorra and Gibraltar since the end of 2013.
The Netherlands got off to a good start with Klaassen’s opening goal, a well-taken volley on the turn from Memphis Depay’s corner. Klaassen was forced to make a double block against Andrejs Ciganiks and Roberts Uldrikis at the opposite end just a minute later Following a mistake on the halfway line by captain Virgil van Dijk.
After the break, Latvia remained a threat, although Cody Gakpo should have made it more comfortable for the visitors six minutes after the break, headed Daley Blind’s cross over the bar when Klaassen was in a better position to meet it.
Without really troubling Roberts Ozols in the Latvia goal, the Netherlands continued to have roughly 75% possession at least until replacement Ryan Gravenberch’s shot from within the penalty area was blocked by the keeper’s legs. After the Netherlands failed to clear a corner, Latvia almost pulled off a late shock, with Igors Tarasovs drawing a one-handed save from Justin Bijlow. Watch football highlights as the Netherlands beat Latvia in World Cup qualifiers.
Latvia 0 – 1 Netherlands
Goals: 0 – 1 Klaassen 19
Latvia: Ozols; Jurkovskis, Dubra, Cernomodrijs, Savalnieks, Emsis, Zjuznis, Ciganiks, Kigurs, Jaunzems, Uldrikis
Substitutions: Stuglis, Ontuzans, Krollis, Tarasovs, Karklins
Netherlands: Bijlow, Dumfries, de Vrij, van Dijk, Blind, Klaassen, de Jong, Til, Berghuis, Depay, Gakpo
Substitutions: Lang, Weghorst, Gravenberch
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