Netherlands beats Andorra in World Cup qualifier
European Football Headlines
(AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) A lackluster Netherlands beat Andorra 3-0 Friday to preserve its perfect record after three qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup and go top of Group D on goal difference.
Rafael van der Vaart and Klaas Jan Huntelaar scored before the break and debutant Ruben Schaken added the third early in the second half as the 2010 World Cup runner-up struggled to break down the defense of 201st-ranked Andorra.
"We won 3-0 and I don't think that's enough," coach Louis van Gaal said.
Romania beat Turkey 1-0 in Istanbul earlier Friday to make it three wins out of three in Group D qualifiers. Romania plays the Netherlands on Tuesday in a match between the two teams with perfect records in the group.
"Romania away will be a very tough match," Van Gaal said. "They also have nine points and they're in a flow."
Van Gaal gave Feyenoord winger Schaken a debut at age 30 and left Robin van Persie on the bench to rest the Manchester United striker for the Romania match.
Van der Vaart opened the scoring in the seventh minute with a low, left-foot shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Huntelaar doubled the lead eight minutes later when he stooped to head Jeremain Lens' cross from the left low into the corner of Josep Gomes' goal.
The strike took Huntelaar to 34 international goals, one ahead of Johan Cruyff and one behind Ruud van Nistelrooy.
After the second goal, Andorra dropped even deeper to defend and often played with all 11 men behind the ball.
"They worked very hard for 90 minutes, it was very difficult to get in front of goal," Van Gaal said.
Even so, they struggled to rein in speedy left winger Lens and he provided the cross for Schaken to crown his debut by tapping in the third Dutch goal early in the second half.
But from then on, the Dutch carved out few chances and missed those they did manage to create, with defender Ron Vlaar heading against the post and Huntelaar volleying over from close range.
"We started very well, passing the ball around quickly but we sank back after 20 minutes and then you create problems for yourself," Dirk Kuyt said.
Updated October 12, 2012