Midfielder Frenkie de Jong has hinted that the Netherlands are not happy with their performance in the 2-0 win over Senegal at the FIFA World Cup. The Barcelona star claimed that they were average and did not play well despite securing all three points.
Cody Gakpo scored in the 84th minute to break the deadlock in the match before Davy Klaassen secured the win deep into stoppage time. The win saw the Netherlands go top of Group A, where they are now level with Ecuador, who won 2-0 against Qatar on the opening day of the FIFA World Cup.
Speaking to the media after the match, De Jong claimed his side were not at their best and added that he was sloppy in the midfield as well. He said:
"We were average. We didn't play good. But we also didn't give any chances away. I think my own game was sloppy. Was it an efficient victory? Of course it was. Listen to me, we played with poor ball possession in the first half but nonetheless, we created five chances."
Speaking about the second half and the nerves going into the final minutes with the scores level, he added:
"It was more balanced in the second half. We created one chance and scored twice and, to be honest, I was calm. I always had the feeling we would score. So it was well deserved although we were shoddy in possession."
Louis van Gaal happy with winning start to FIFA World Cup
Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal was pleased with the win in their FIFA World Cup opener. He admitted that the decision-making was poor in the first half but praised the players for scoring the goals.
"It was an efficient victory. We played the first half with poor decision-making when carrying the ball. But we still created five chances. In the second half the match was more balanced ... (but) I was quite calm because I always had the feeling we would score."
Van Gaal continued:
"I would agree that it was an efficient victory but I thought we were fitter. The Senegalese spent a lot of time lying on the ground which is why we had to play for an extra eight minutes [of stoppage time]. I will agree we were too shoddy in possession and it wasn't a good game from us in that respect but it was a good defensive performance."
The Netherlands next face Ecuador on Friday in what could be a winner-takes-top spot game in Group A of the FIFA World Cup.