Virgil van Dijk is happy that the Dutch team is almost certain of a European Championship ticket after a 1-2 win on Belarus, but the captain was anything but satisfied with the game of Orange in the second half.
"After rest it wasn't good on our part. And that is still to be said softly," Van Dijk said in a first reaction at the NOS . "We lost a lot of balls in midfield, which allowed them to counter. We made it difficult for ourselves, so we all have to look carefully in the mirror. It has to be better."
The Dutch team was at rest by two goals from Georginio Wijnaldum on a reassuring 0-2 lead in Minsk. The team of Ronald Koeman did not play great, but barely ran into problems on the moderate field of the Dynamo Stadium.
In the second half those problems did arise and Stanislav Dragun soon made the connection goal. The Belarusians got - partly due to sloppy play of the Netherlands - chances for more, but there was no point in the home team.
"The first half was good, there was a lot of movement and happy moments we played well," says Van Dijk. "The second half was not good enough, so we will certainly analyze that. Anyway, we are close to the European Championship and that is the most important thing."
Stand group C
- 1. The Netherlands: 6-15 (19-7)
- 2. Germany: 5-12 (17-6)
- 3. Northern Ireland: 6-12 (8-7)
- 4. Belarus: 7-4 (4-12)
- 5. Estonia: 6-1 (2-18)
"We have to finish the next month"
Because of the victory over Belarus, the Netherlands comes to fifteen points from six matches, three more than number three in Northern Ireland.
With next month another game with the Northern Irish (November 16) and a home game against the last-minute Estonia (November 19), the Orange squad will be at the European Championship.
"We are very close now," acknowledged Van Dijk. "We want to go to that European Championship, the whole of the Netherlands craves it and we as players too. Next month we have to finish it."
See also: Wijnaldum leads Dutch team to difficult victory over Belarus