2022 World Cup Qualifying - UEFA, Group Stage
  • Steven Berghuis (32')
  • Luuk de Jong (69')

Netherlands beat Latvia for first points of World Cup qualifying campaign

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.

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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.

Ahead of the match, the Dutch players wore T-shirts on Saturday emblazoned with the words "Football supports change'' in an apparent statement about human rights in World Cup host Qatar, joining Germany and Norway players in similar protests.