Georginio Wijnaldum suggested the Netherlands must be more “eager” to score after a dominant display against Latvia only resulted in a 2-0 World Cup qualifying win.
Frank de Boer’s Oranje bounced back from the 4-2 defeat to Turkey in their Group G opener with an excellent all-round performance in Amsterdam on Saturday.
The Netherlands had 36 shots in total – 16 more than the impressive 20 they managed in losing against Turkey – though only 11 hit the target.
Steven Berghuis and Luuk de Jong were responsible for the two goals, the former curling into the top-left corner before the latter headed in from Memphis Depay’s corner.
The Netherlands had 96 touches in Latvia’s box, the most since detailed Opta records began in August 2013, far surpassing the previous high of 51 (v Estonia in November 2019).
Though Latvia goalkeeper Roberts Ozols pulled off an impressive eight saves, Liverpool midfielder Wijnaldum, who had five attempts and created three chances, believes his side have to show more conviction in their finishing.
“In itself it was not too difficult tonight, finding the spaces was very easy,” Wijnaldum told broadcasters NOS.
“I don’t know how many balls they cleared off the line, but I think we should be a bit more eager to score.
“All in all, it is good that we have created so many opportunities. If you want to take a critical look at it, you have to say that we should have done even more to get that ball over the line.”
— Gini Wijnaldum (@GWijnaldum) March 27, 2021
Davy Klaassen and De Jong hit the crossbar either side of Berghuis’ opener, the Feyenoord forward’s first international goal in his 23rd Oranje appearance.
Meanwhile, Memphis Depay attempted a remarkable 10 shots and played seven key passes.
Captain Wijnaldum was replaced in the 79th minute, having registered an impressive pass completion rate of 90.6 per cent.
The Barcelona-linked 30-year-old was visibly frustrated but insisted that was purely down to feeling he still had more to offer.
“I was a bit disappointed,” he said. “The coach and I talked about it. I really wanted to stay because I really had the feeling that I could score another goal.
“But otherwise it is nothing bad. We shouldn’t make it bigger than it is.”
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