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Three goals not enough for Van Gaal

Louis van Gaal was bullish after the Netherlands saw off Andorra 3-0 on Friday night, complaining that the scoreline was not to his liking.

A routine win for the Dutch saw Rafael van der Vaart, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ruben Schaken, on his debut, all score for the hosts as Andorra were undone by two first-half goals and a third early in the second period.

But the 61-year-old coach hoped for a better team performance and more goals, considering their lowly opposition.

“I said before the match that it would be difficult for us to open up the game,” Van Gaal said.

“These teams like Andorra always play very defensively, so that makes it a hard task. My prediction came true, because we won 3-0 and that’s not enough.

“We tried to push through. I can also be satisfied because of my wingers, Schaken and (Jeremain) Lens. They both played a good game.”

Dirk Kuyt came into the squad for his first appearance under Van Gaal, something that the coach remarked upon after the match.

“I don’t bring him in to be friendly towards Kuyt. He knows that he has a lot of competition for his position up front. He gets his minutes, just like tonight. You don’t have to search for something behind this,” said Van Gaal.

Turning his attention to the Netherlands’ next game – away to Romania, who lie second in Group D on equal points with Oranje, in Bucharest – the former Barcelona and Ajax boss played down any suggestions that Arjen Robben may be fit enough to play a role.

“I don’t think Robben can play. We hear about his condition tomorrow. Then we’ll also decide if some players from the Under-21 squad will come to Romania,” he said.

“Unfortunately, Romania won against Turkey. I hoped for a draw, because that was the best (result) in my opinion. Now we have a difficult match in Bucharest next Tuesday.”

Meanwhile, former Tottenham attacking midfielder Van der Vaart played his 101st match for the Netherlands by taking to the pitch against Andorra, and he crowned the occasion with a goal.

“I realise it wasn’t a great match, but personally, it was nice to score. Of course, the opponent wasn’t very good, but we’ve tried to make more of it. There wasn’t much space for us, though,” he said.

Sat 13 October, 2012
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