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Van Gaal Reiterates the World Cup Is for Winning, not Entertaining

Van Gaal Reiterates the World Cup Is for Winning, not Entertaining

The Netherlands didn’t put on a show in their close 0-1 victory over Latvia, as we covered in football today. But manager Louis van Gaal has countered fans expressing their disappointment by claiming that wasn’t the point. Instead, Van Gaal reiterates, the World Cup is for winning, not entertaining and they’ll take even a marginal 0-1 victory.

Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal commented on their 0-1 World Cup qualifying win over Latvia in Riga on Friday. He was content with their away victory stated that his team does not need to perform to amuse.

The Dutch took control of Group G with a 19th-minute winner from Davy Klaassen. Although, they did need an injury-time save from goalkeeper Justin Bijlow to retain their lead.

And eventually, beside that early goal, the Netherlands maintained a steady performance, by not scoring or conceding any more goals.

Van Gaal Reiterates the World Cup Is for Winning, not Entertaining

After missing out on the 2018 World Cup, Van Gaal refused to accept criticism over his team’s ability to entertain. On the other hand, he maintained that World Cup qualification remains the primary goal of his national team, not crowd-pleasing.

“We don’t have to entertain the public here,” van Gaal told NOS after the game. “We have to make it to the World Cup, that’s the goal.

“These are very difficult matches. Every long ball was a fight with that striker [Roberts Uldrikis] of theirs.”

Van Gaal admitted the Dutch encouraged Latvian pressure by not adding to their one-goal lead. Bijlow denied Igors Tarasovs late, and the coach did admit that they should have scored more.

“It has become 0-1, but it could also have been 0-4, 1-6 or 2-1,” he said. “We did that ourselves. Frenkie de Jong’s pass was too soft and Denzel Dumfries did not come to the ball. Everything went wrong there.”

Van Gaal added: “We had 15 chances and they had four. We had 75 per cent of the ball. That is not surprising, because I had already expected this.

“You can say it’s not that great, but we won 1-0, and Turkey-Norway made it 1-1. We are one step closer to the World Cup.”

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