Netherlands 2-0 Latvia: Dutch dominate in World Cup qualifier

The Netherlands bounced back from their disappointment against Turkey with victory over Latvia, as Stephanie Frappart became the first female to referee a men’s World Cup qualifier.

The Frenchwoman has previously taken charge of men’s European club matches.

Feyenoord’s Steven Berghuis and Sevilla’s Luuk de Jong both scored in a match the Dutch dominated.

The game was played in front of 5,000 home fans in the 55,000-capacity Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam.

The lucky few had to follow strict Covid-19 protocols to get the chance to watch the national side.

They witnessed a dominant Netherlands performance, in stark contrast to the display during the 4-2 loss in Turkey last week.

Frank de Boer’s side should have scored more than the two goals against Latvia, having created an incredible 37 chances.

Steven Berghuis
Winger Steven Berghuis has scored 16 goals for Feyenoord so far this season

Berghuis opened the scoring in the 32nd minute with a brilliant strike from the edge of the area before De Jong headed home the second after the break.

De Jong and Ajax midfielder Davy Klaassen also both headed on to the bar from close range, while Latvia goalkeeper Roberts Ozols made several brilliant saves.

Dutch keeper Tim Krul’s only save of note was from Andrejs Ciganiks, late in the game.

Frappart did not have any major contentious incidents to deal with. On Sunday, Ukranian Kateryna Monzul will become the second female referee to officiate a men’s qualifier, when she takes charge of Austria’s fixture against the Faroe Islands.

Before kick-off, the Dutch team came on to the field wearing black T-shirts featuring the words “football supports change”, in reference to the well-publicised plight of migrant workers in Qatar, hosts of the next World Cup. It followed similar messages to those promoted by the Norwegian and Germany teams.

Prior to the match, Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt said it was something the squad been thinking about for some time.

Qatar’s hosting of the tournament has been politically under scrutiny in the Netherlands, with a recent motion passed in the Dutch parliament calling for the king and prime minister not to travel to the tournament, should the team qualify.

‘Uefa want proof that fans will be able to attend’

Matthew Kenyon, BBC World Service in Amsterdam

The 55,000-capacity Cruijff Arena housed 5,000 fans for the Netherlands’ qualifier against Latvia.

Stand-in skipper Gini Wijnaldum of Liverpool sent a message to everyone via one of the compulsory apps this morning saying how much the players were looking forward to the experience.

Everyone who is here has had to download a couple of apps, for information and tracing purposes – and we all have had to show a negative test result taken in the past 24 hours. I did mine this morning – the (negative) result came through within 15 minutes.

If the experiment works, this will open the way for fans to come back in some numbers – maybe even before the end of the domestic season. But this is also being done with the demand of the European Championship in mind – Uefa want proof that fans will be able to attend.

The proof of whether it’s a success or otherwise – in a country where the coronavirus numbers are on their way back up – will only come in the days after the event. We all have to have another test next week.

Line-ups

Netherlands

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Krul
  • 22Dumfries
  • 3de Ligt
  • 17BlindBooked at 87mins
  • 5Wijndal
  • 8WijnaldumSubstituted forvan de Beekat 79′minutes
  • 21de Jong
  • 11BerghuisSubstituted forStengsat 84′minutes
  • 6KlaassenSubstituted forGravenberchat 79′minutes
  • 10DepaySubstituted forBergwijnat 89′minutes
  • 19de JongBooked at 52minsSubstituted forBabelat 79′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Tete
  • 4Veltman
  • 7Bergwijn
  • 9Babel
  • 12van Aanholt
  • 13Stekelenburg
  • 14Gravenberch
  • 15de Roon
  • 16Stengs
  • 18Malen
  • 20van de Beek
  • 23Bizot

Latvia

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 12Ozols
  • 15Fjodorovs
  • 5Cernomordijs
  • 18Tarasovs
  • 13Jurkovskis
  • 17ZjuzinsSubstituted forKarklinsat 45′minutesBooked at 52mins
  • 6Tobers
  • 7KamessSubstituted forSavalnieksat 79′minutes
  • 10IkaunieksBooked at 34minsSubstituted forKrollisat 88′minutes
  • 14CiganiksSubstituted forSolovjovsat 85′minutes
  • 20UldrikisSubstituted forGutkovskisat 45′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Steinbors
  • 2Maksimenko
  • 3Oss
  • 4Emsis
  • 8Solovjovs
  • 9Ikaunieks
  • 11Savalnieks
  • 16Jaunzems
  • 19Krollis
  • 21Karklins
  • 22Gutkovskis
  • 23Zviedris

Referee:
Stéphanie Frappart

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