Netherlands defeated Latvia 2-0 on Saturday to book their first win of the World Cup qualifying campaign.

After the poor 4-2 loss against Turkey in midweek, Netherlands looked to bounce back against Latvia to ease the growing pressure on Frank de Boer. The Oranje coach made three changes to his starting eleven with Denzel Dumfries, Davy Klaassen and Luuk de Jong all starting.

The game was being played in front of 5000 Netherlands fans inside the Johan Cruijff ArenA as an experiment into getting fans safely back into stadiums.

Netherlands camped in the Latvia half from the start but an opening goal didn’t come in the opening stages with Davy Klaassen having a shot cleared off the line before also heading against the bar, while Memphis put some shots from range over the bar.

Finally, in the 32nd minute, Steven Berghuis cut in from the right and curled a lovely strike into the net to register his first international goal.

It was almost 2-0 before the break but Memphis curled wide before Luuk de Jong put a close-range header against the bar.

The second-half began much like the first with Netherlands squandering chance after chance until Luuk de Jong finally headed in a corner to make it 2-0 in the 69th minute.

De Boer then made changes with Ryan Gravenberch, Donny van de Beek, Ryan Babel, and Calvin Stengs all coming on, but there was to be no further goals. Memphis had a frustrating evening and couldn’t score after a strong run, while Van de Beek put a shot wide.

Netherlands get a win but it is possibly not enough to ease the growing pressure on the side. In the group’s other games, Turkey defeated Norway, while Montenegro saw off Gibraltar.




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