In a bruising encounter at York City FC’s Bootham Crescent, the Netherlands proved too good for a very workmanlike Polish side in this UEFA European Under-16 Championship Group B match.
As ever with Dutch youth teams, players of enormous potential were on view. In right-winger Ralf de Haan, who scored both goals, they possess a future Marc Overmars; he is exceptionally quick, with great skill and excellent finishing ability.
Always in control
While never hitting top gear, the Netherlands were always in control and really should have added more than De Haan’s two strikes, the second a brilliant turn and angled shot from 18 metres.
Striker Sherjill MacDonald missed two glorious chances, while the outstanding Dutch captain Wesley Sneijder curled a 20-metre free-kick against the inside of the post. The victory nevertheless puts the Netherlands level on points with Turkey in Group B, with their final match to come against group leaders Russia.
'We should have scored more'
"Our defence had to be strong tonight to allow the rest of the team to get forward," said Dutch coach Ruud Kaiser. "We closed the space down very well on Poland and prevented them from playing. I do believe however that we should have taken more of our chances and it would have been a truer reflection if we had scored four or five goals."