Blind demands improvement
Dutch coach warns it will be 'fatal' if Oranje are sloppy against France
(Quincy Promes 15, 30, Davy Klaassen 55, Vincent Janssen 64)
(Aleksey Rios 47)
Quincy Promes scored two early goals to send Holland on their way to a 4-1 victory over Belarus in their World Cup Group A qualifier yesterday morning (Singapore time) and snap a miserable run of home form.
Davy Klaassen and Vincent Janssen added two more in the second half as the Dutch, who finished third at the last World Cup in Brazil but failed to qualify for Euro 2016, ended an unprecedented run of five successive home defeats stretching back 16 months.
Aleksey Rios scored for Belarus just after half-time, but a comeback did not materialise.
Holland coach Danny Blind was pleased with the result, but demanded improvement ahead of France's visit to Amsterdam on Tuesday morning.
"I've seen good things, but also less good things," Blind said in De Telegraaf. "There are things we can and should do in the next two days.
"We started well in the first 30, 35 minutes but, after that, we played sloppy. You cannot do that. Against big teams, it could be fatal."
Promes' (above) opener in the 15th minute marked his first international goal as he hit the ball through the legs of three defenders.
He added a second 15 minutes later with a strong finish from the edge of the penalty area.
Belarus threatened with two good chances before the break and then scored straight after it, with Sergei Kornilenko's strong run setting up Rios for a close-range finish.
But the Dutch quickly restored their two-goal advantage in the 55th minute, as Klaassen tapped home the rebound after Belarus had lost possession on the edge of their own area.
Janssen struck the woodwork with a shot but found the net with a thunderous left-footed shot, as the Dutch moved to four points from their opening two qualifiers after a draw in Sweden last month.
Blind was delighted to see Promes score twice, his first goals for the country in 15 international appearances, after the player had been subjected to negative reviews by the Dutch media.
"He has received lot of criticism from you," Blind said.
"But I see him play every week and that's why I played him. I'm not only pleased I made the choice, but also for him, too."
The Dutch coach also defended his decision to make 34-year-old Maarten Stekelenburg his first-choice goalkeeper after four years in the international wilderness.
"I might as well tell you the chances are good that he will play again against France," Blind added.
Dutch captain Wesley Sneijder, however, will miss the mouthwatering visit of France, after the midfielder aggravated a hamstring injury in the victory over Belarus.
Feyenoord's Tonny Vilhena, 21, will replace the 32-year-old Sneijder, the Dutch football federation said yesterday.
- Wire Services.