A lot of talking points before the game and one of those was Wesley Sneijder’s record breaking attempt. But it was young Mathijs de Ligt who got a record in the Moroccan game, while Wes has to play one more cap to reach his pinnacle.
Johan Cruyff used to be the youngest Oranje player ever to be red-carded in the orange jersey. Johan was only 19 years old when his constant talking became to much for the ref. Young Mathijs is 17 years and 292 days old and the proud owner of this new record. If JC’s career is anything to go on, De Ligt has a bright future. His card was for pushing a player through on goal down to the ground. I saw many fouls by Moroccan players more deserving of red, but hey….
Holland won again. Sadly, it was a friendly, but at the same time, it wasn’t friendly at all. Morocco played a rough game and Oranje passed the test really well. They dealt with it in a mature manner. They didn’t lose their head or got provoked. Some brilliance from Promes, Janssen and Memphis was enough to secure the victory: 1-2.
Quincy Promes now silenced the criticasters who say the youngster is only good in Russia. He had a great match for us earlier, scoring twice and against Morocco he was mercurial, scoring one and assisting Janssen’s goal. Janssen had a solid game too, his usual workrate and a good shimmy resulting in a powerful shot on goal. His goal was taken with aplomb. Earlier on, Memphis wiggled his way through the box to offer Quincy a solid chance to score the opener.
It was a good match. Not just because of the win, but the way our lads dealt with the circumstances and it was definitely cool to see the Under 17 talents from 2011 emerge on this top level. Back then, coached by Albert Stuivenberg, the young lions played Germany under 7 off the pitch, winning the EC finals 5-2. Jetro Willems was the first to make it to the big time (2012). Terrence Kongolo was part of the 2014 World Cup squad and Karim Rekik also made his debut in Oranje already. Now, Tonny Vilhena, Memphis Depay and Nathan Ake were present, with Utrecht midfielder Yassine Ayoub on the bench for Morocco. He decided to don the colours of his father’s country but hasn’t played for the first team of Morocco yet.
Fred Grim, interim coach, was very pleased. “I am pleased with the win. Yes, it’s a friendly but winning is a mood we need to get into asap. And we did. I’m also happy with the performance, although our second half wasn’t as good and after the sending off we came under pressure, but that’s normal. And I think we dealt with it.”
Nice forward Belhanda in particular challenged De Ligt and Wesley Hoedt with red-worthy challenges but both players did well. Advocaat could have seen on his telly how Hoedt in particular appeared to have a strong pass while Nathan Ake and Tonny Vilhena also spat in their palms to go to work against a strong Morocco (on paper). Marten de Roon, coming on for Steven Berghuis, had a part to play as well as he set up Promes for the assist on Janssen.
Nathan Ake got his “hare” making his first minutes for the Big Oranje. “I hoped to get some minutes but I heard a day before I’d play. Goosebumps. Really happy. The game wasn’t so good, but we played well in the first half. And we had to go deep at times physically, but thats ok. We got the result and we can build on this. I played left back again and was really knackered. Haven’t played that position for a while but I don’t mind, I’ll play wherever the coach needs me.”