The young Devils remained unbeaten in their qualifying campaign towards the European Championship, but now they know what losing is all about. Especially in the first half in Leuven it was a search for the Belgians. Ajax talent Brian Brobbey made it difficult for the defense. OHL defender Pletinckx had no story with the striker’s first goal.
He struck again just before half-time. It was Timber who launched the attack with a subtle heel. And Brobbey didn’t hesitate to finally get the cross in with his head. The striker seems ready to join the real Orange and meet Belgium again. He jumps in there because three players are out with injuries.
National coach Jacky Mathijssen could not be satisfied after that first half and threw six new players between the lines. They switched to a 4-man defense and there was also more grinta in the Belgian team. Among others, Jeremy Doku, back from injury, excelled.
He made it difficult for the Netherlands with his speed and then shoved the ball in front of Deman’s foot: 1-2. After that Belgium remained boss, but there were no more goals. Belgium, for example, is heading for a new practice match against France with a defeat.
Jacky Mathijssen (national coach): “We knew that the Netherlands is a very good team and we have experienced that. The Netherlands was also better, but despite this we still had x number of chances, also before half-time, and we could have achieved at least a draw.”
“Our reaction in the second half was very positive. We adjusted some things and made a few substitutions. For example, there was more clarity with the substitution in the defense. The assignments were a bit easier for the players, less substitutions and shifts had to be made. That’s how we’ve been competitive until the end.”
“Look, you can beat San Marino with 7-0, but that is of no use to us. We have a lot of this match.”