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Netherlands beat Latvia for first points of World Cup qualifying campaign

FOOTBALL By Reuters | March 28th 2021
Football - World Cup Qualifiers Europe - Group G - Netherlands v Latvia - Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands - March 27, 2021. Netherlands' Donny van de Beek in action. [REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw]

Steven Berghuis and Luuk de Jong scored either side of halftime as the Netherlands got their World Cup qualifying back on track with a 2-0 home win over plucky Latvia on Saturday.

The Dutch were looking for a strong response after a shock 4-2 loss to Turkey in Istanbul on Wednesday at the start of their Group G campaign.

Yet despite a ferocious onslaught from kickoff -- the Dutch had 11 attempts on target in the first 25 minutes -- they took until past the half-hour to score when Berghuis, who had waited until his 23rd cap for his first international goal, lashed home from the edge of the area.

Latvia defended heroically for most of the match, except at a 69th-minute corner when De Jong headed home the second.

The match was played in front of 5,000 spectators in the Amsterdam Arena as part of a government-supported study into the amount of contact in crowd situations.

Other results across Europe on Saturday. [Photo: Courtesy]
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