Netherlands coach Van Gaal pleased with early World Cup qualification

2013-09-11 07:28:19 GMT2013-09-11 15:28:19(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

THE HAGUE, Sept. 11(Xinhua) -- The Netherlands became the first European team to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, which led to a satisfied head coach Louis van Gaal.

After a 2-2 draw against Estonia in Tallinn on Friday the Dutch national team defeated Andorra 2-0 on Tuesday in Andorra la Vella. Manchester United striker Robin van Persie scored both goals in the second half.

The win was enough for qualification, because Romania lost 2-0 at home to Turkey. With two match rounds remaining the Dutch already secured the top spot in Group D with 22 points out of 8 matches, 8 points ahead of Hungary and 9 ahead of Turkey and Romania.

Just like four years ago, the Netherlands were the first European team to qualify for the World Cup. The Dutch secured their 10th World Cup participation.

Since 1990, the Netherlands have only failed to qualify once. Under current coach Van Gaal Oranje missed out on the 2002 edition. Van Gaal started his second term ad national team coach one year ago, just after a disappointing early exit under Bert van Marwijk at Euro 2012.

"This was the goal we wanted to achieve and we could not do it faster than this," Van Gaal reacted to Dutch TV channel NOS. "We had to rebuilt the team after Euro 2012. We changed the squad and still we managed to qualify as first European team, with a goal difference of plus 20. I think we did a good job."

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