And under new national coach Andries Jonker, Dutch footballers continue to struggle against smaller football nations. They managed to win against Scotland, who are ranked 23rd in the world.
The exhibition game should have given the Netherlands a boost for Tuesday’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Iceland. The Netherlands must win if they are to qualify directly for next year’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand. It seemed to work in the first half, but with so many missed chances, the Netherlands were too hard on themselves.
A few surprises
Jonker, appointed as Mark Parsons’ successor last week, started with few surprises. At his base he only made way for Twentieth striker Renade Johnson, who did not play under his predecessor. He saw his team start strongly and it took less than ten minutes before Vivian Miedema scored. Also, before this there was a good combination of Jill Roord and Daniel van de Donk.
It’s been a while since footballers have found such a goal. After two minutes it was only 1-1. Dominique Janssen misjudged a long, high ball to the feet of Claire Emslie, who could easily fire the ball past Daphne van Domselaar.
The Netherlands then retained control and were able to pin down the Scottish defence. Once in the penalty area it went wrong. Daniëlle van de Donk missed a big chance less than five minutes into the first half. After a short break, he again failed to score past the keeper.
Vivian Miedema, who played just one match after the holidays, also missed his usual sharpness. He was one of six players included in the substitutes’ squad after an hour, considering the match against Iceland.
At that point half-time was just around the corner. The Netherlands started to play in a hurry and chances did not come. A hard shot by Sherida Spitze was cleared by the Scotland keeper for a corner. On the other hand, the Scots were released ahead of van Domselaar, who managed to make a timely save.
Kalma’s winning goal in the closing stages was well deserved. The Netherlands were the better of the Scots throughout the game and made it difficult for themselves by missing a number of chances, but Jonker will be hoping his side have not backed down yet against the Icelanders on Tuesday.
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