Dutch cruise to Latvia win and ease pressure on Hiddink
Updated: 2014-11-17 10:29
AMSTERDAM - Netherlands recorded a vital 6-0 home thrashing of Latvia on Sunday in their Euro 2016 Group A qualifier to ease the pressure on embattled coach Guus Hiddink.
|Robin van Persie (L) of the Netherlands celebrates scoring a goal against Latvia during their Euro 2016 Group A qualifying soccer match in Amsterdam November 16, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]|
Arjen Robben and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar both scored twice and were accompanied on the scoresheet by Robin van Persie and Jeffrey Bruma.
Hiddink's second stint in charge of Oranje has not gone to plan thus far with four defeats from their previous five matches and last week the 68-year-old suggested he would resign if his team failed to beat Latvia.
With Hiddink's job on the line, the World Cup semi-finalists dominated the match from the first whistle.
The Dutch are now third on six points from four games, three points behind joint leaders Iceland and the Czech Republic, who will lock horns later on Sunday. Latvia remain on two points.
The hosts kick-started the match in the sixth minute, when skipper Van Persie nodded home a Robben cross after the Netherlands all-time top scorer was left in space to easily score his 49th goal in 96 starts for his country.
Robben then doubled the lead in the 35th minute with a beautiful left-footed strike after a trademark cut-in from the right flank.
Huntelaar added a third seven minutes later as he slid in a low cross from Ibrahim Afellay, scoring his 37th international goal and joining Dennis Bergkamp in third place on the Dutch top scorers list.
Bruma netted the fourth by tapping in a corner that fell to him in the 77th minute, before Robben and Huntelaar wrapped up the win in style by completing their doubles.
It was a 17th consecutive away defeat for Latvia, who have not won a game on foreign soil since September 2011, when they beat Georgia 1-0.