Louis van Gaal is satisfied with Netherlands slender 1-0 victory over Latvia on Friday evening.

Davy Klaassen scored the only goal of the game in the 18th minute, with Netherlands then struggling to kill the game and they needed a late Justin Bijlow save to deny the hosts an equaliser.

After the game, Van Gaal told NOS, “I think we created about fifteen chances and they created four. I predicted all that. I said in advance that we would have 70 percent possession of the ball, which has become 75. It’s nothing new under the sun. This morning at practice, fans asked me when I would be happy. “With 0-1″, I replied. And that’s what it has become.”

Latvia had chances which came from Netherlands errors, but Van Gaal was angrier at his side’s lack of depth in possession, “It’s hard to avoid, precisely because it’s a personal mistake. We played with total pressing and created fifteen chances, that’s the ratio. The result is 0-1, but it could also have been 1-6 or 2-1. I did get annoyed at times, though. For example, with a pass that goes wide, but should have gone deep.”

Van Gaal was hoping to see his side play the game differently, “In the last twenty minutes they couldn’t even move one foot in front of the other. Then we just have to pass the ball. We are not here to entertain the Latvian public. The goal is to reach the World Cup, then you have to win these matches. It’s very difficult games against two rows of four and a tall striker up front. Every long ball is a fight.”

Overall, Van Gaal is happy his side stretched their lead at the top of the group, “In the end I’m really happy. The effort was great, the experience was great. Only the execution could be better. The Norwegians are still our biggest opponent. I would have preferred Turkey to have won. We will now have a late dinner and then go to bed. We sleep in and go back at our leisure. This way we have a lot of peace for Gibraltar. They are going to play 1-6-3-1, that will also be difficult.”




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