Belarus 1-2 Netherlands: 5 Talking Points from the game | UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers
Netherlands traveled to the Stadyen Dynama in Minsk to face Belarus in a Group C clash of the UEFA Euro Qualifiers. The Dutch were top of the group after 5 games but were level on points with Germany and Northern Ireland, even though the latter had played a game more. As such, the game on Saturday was a chance for the Netherlands to go 3 points clear at the top and keep the pressure on Germany ahead of their tie against Estonia.
The Oranje had won 4 of their 5 games in the qualifiers, while their only defeat had come at the hands of Germany. However, the Netherlands had secure revenge with a 4-2 win over Die Mannschaft recently and is one of the rising forces in the world of football. Ronald Koeman was aware that he needed to win all of the remaining 3 qualifiers and as such, was desperate to collect all 3 points against Belarus. The Dutchman named his first eleven accordingly.
Netherlands Starting XI: Jasper Cillessen; Joël Veltman, Matthijs De Ligt, Virgil Van Dijk, Daley Blind; Donny Van de Beek, Frenkie De Jong, Georginio Wijnaldum; Steven Bergwijn, Donyell Malen, Quincy Promes
The Netherlands initially struggled to find their footing in the game, but finally went ahead when Georginio Wijnaldum scored in the 32nd minute. The Liverpool midfielder then doubled the lead in the 41st minute and the Netherlands went into the break with a 2-0 advantage. In the second half, Stanislaw Drahun pulled one back for the hosts in the 53rd minute, but the visitors held on and secured a 2-1 victory. Here are 5 talking points from the game.
#5 Netherlands dominated proceedings in the first half
The visitors started the game slowly, but soon asserted a grip on the proceedings. They dictated the tempo of the game and ended the first half with 83% possession. Ronald Koeman’s side attempted 448 passes with 92% passing accuracy and also won 4 corners in the half.
Interestingly, the Netherlands registered 14 shots before the break, 5 of which were on target Quite deservedly, the visitors scored 2 goals and went into the break with a 2-0 lead. In the end, their first-half performance turned out to be absolutely pivotal on the day.