Oranje does the job: 4-1 vs Belarus

It was a must win game, said Danny Blind. And he was able to find and fuel the spark in the starting eleven as the Oranje lions started with focus and determination against a tight and compact Belarus. Not to be underestimated. Their youth representative teams did well in the past years, and Belarus does not lose games easily. But the signs were clear in the first stage of the game, with some solid attacking flank play on the right (Karsdorp and Promes), some first time passing and some good centre striker play from Janssen, who was close to a goal already early in the game.

danny lacht

It fell to much criticised Promes to break the resistance of the White Russians. Blind kept faith in the Spartak Moscow star and said he sees him play weekly as one of the best players. “He will show his class in Oranje, I am sure”, Blind said. And how he did. A Man of the Match performance for Promes, who with his quick feet scored the first one, nutmegging not one, not two but three defenders: 1-o in the 14th minute. Holland dominate play in the first half hour, with more than 70% possession and good movement. In the 23rd minute, Oranje should have been up 2-0, when Van Dijk guided in a Sneijder free kick in an on-side position. Two other Oranje players showed up in front of the goalie in off side positions, one might argue, and maybe this is why the linesman decided to rule Van Dijk’s goal out, but in my view, again, we were robbed. Sneijder look leggy in the match and it was no surprise that the young legs on the right offered up most threat to Belarus, who saw Janssen in typical striker style turn and shoot in one move, without any backswing, but the ball was too close to the goalie.

promes 10

On the half hour mark, Oranje got what it deserved when Promes came in from the left, on the edge of the box, to take a dropping ball from a corner kick on the volley. A confident player does this and Promes made his own luck, as the ball got deflected and went into the goal out of reach of the keeper’s outstretched arms.

Holland was coasting, it seemed, and dropped the pace a bit which allowed Belarus to get back into it. The Belarus team has the ability to counter with some good runners up front, able to pick the moment. Whenever Karsdorp would push up it was Bruma’s role to cover the space and in the last 15 minutes before the break, he lost his man a couple of time, allowing Belarus the opportunity to score a goal. Or two.

Holland reached the break without conceding, and returned sans Sneijder who was left in the dressing room with a hamstring problem (indirect result of the thigh injury of last weekend, no doubt). I think he overstretched late in the first half when sliding for a loose ball. Davey Propper was Sneijder’s replacement and Klaassen went to play in the Sneijder role, with Wijnaldum moving into the Klaassen role. But before the players could settle, it was 2-1. Sloppy defending by Bruma again and a late reaction to the situation by Daley Blind allowed Rios to tap in the ball. Stekelenburg hadn’t been called to action, really, up until that moment and the Everton goalie could only watch the ball go into the net.

bela scorrt

Confidence might have been rattled, one would think, but instead of Belarus pushing on, it was Oranje taking charge, under the leadership of Strootman in midfield and the excellent off the ball movement by Janssen, Klaassen and Promes who were always available for the out ball. A horrific defending error by the Belarus centre back got Oranje back into the game. Promes kept harassing the player, who couldn’t get the ball out of his feet. Janssen on the turn took the shot on and hit the post. A very attentative Klaassen still had some work to do to guide the ball – coming straight at him – into the net: 3-1.

jannsen 4

This seemed to break Belarus who never looked likely to get back into the game. By then, the threat was dealt with and it was simply a matter of will-we-score-again and who-will-it-be? Janssen was very keen to get his goal, while Wijnaldum was making more moves into the box. Promes was on a hattrick, so you couldn’t blame him for trying. But – as one might expect from a good striker – it was Janssen who’d clinch the best goal of the night. Another error at the back, Janssen – not the quickest – took the ball and sprinted away from the slipping defender. One look up and he was only going to do one thing: with his gifted left, he guided the ball high and composed into the top corner. Janssen looked relieved after not scoring yet in the EPL but this game will show the Spurs fans what a prospect he is: 4-1.

promes 20

Oranje professionally played the game out, but had chances to score at least two more, with Wijnaldum hitting the post (and a great opportunity in the rebound to pass into Janssen) and some good interplay between Karsdorp, Promes and Janssen in the box, trying to set up Wijnaldum yet again. Take the disallowed Van Dijk goal and Oranje could have won this 7-1.

All in all: a bright performance, Promes finally showing his class, Janssen a hand full, an assured performance by Karsdorp and solid performances by a not 100% fit Strootman and Wijnaldum.

The only real question mark for me is Bruma, who has his ups and downs and sometimes seems to fall asleep. With De Vrij back and Vlaar hopefully fit soon, Blind will have more options at the back.

kars bela

Rick Karsdorp was on Cloud 9: “I think I had a good debut. We played well and I think I did ok. It is no use to play great at your debut but lose the game. So I’m happy. The win was important, and I think I played my part. It is a dream come true to play for Oranje at my home ground. I was 9 years old when I started to play for Feyenoord and now this… It really means something to me…”

For the France game, Danny Blind won’t be able to use Wesley Sneijder. The Gala playmaker will stay with the group and there is a small chance he will get fit, but Danny has called on Tony Vilhena to join the squad for the France game.

Sneijder: “It is the same muscle as the one I had trouble with last week. It’s always a risk to play after a problem like this. And it was when I had to make a sliding. It’s a good thing we were 2-0 up. We couldn’t take chances. It will be hard to reach France, we only have 3 days or so, but we’ll see….”

promes memphis

It seems Stekelenburg will defend our goal vs France as well. Blind: “With the goalies, there is so little difference. It’s just details. I just feel Stekelenburg is making a slightly better impression. Hard to explain. It’s a gut feel. Zoet hasn’t failed me, at all, but I will go with Maarten. It’s a tough decision to make, but that is part of the job.”

Blind also hinted at playing with five at the back versus France, which had an impressive comeback vs Bulgaria.

Danny Blind after the Belarus game: “I am pleased with the result and I think we’ve seen some very good things. But for at least 15 minutes in the game, we were sloppy. We got away with it, but against France, that will be lethal. We need to work on that. But overall happy with the performance.”


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  1. Agree with what you say about Bruma. Decent defender, but you can usually count on him making a couple dangerous mistakes in each game. Would like to see de Vrij paired with van Dijk at some point. Really happy to see Strootman back and getting into good form.

    If no Sneijder against France, who will replace him in the line-up?

    1. Good point. It will be a toss up between Propper and Clasie I think. Either Stroot and Clasie sitting in a 4-2-3-1 or Propper in the 4-1-4-1.

      We might see more changes. Not sure if Blind will play Karsdorp vs France.

      I think the rest are all shoe-ins really. Janssen with Promes up top and maybe De Vrij coming in for Sneijder in a 5-3-2.

      In which Karsdorp might play after all…

      1. Long time reader, first time commenting. Just wanted to thank you for this site and the information you provide us for Jan.

        I’m not a natural born dutchy but all 4 of my grandparents moved over to Canada from the Netherlands after ww II and the oranje have become my #1 sports passion since I watched bergkamp poke the ball into the net against Argentina many years ago.

        When the world cup/euro cup is on we pack the bars here in southern Ontario with our orange gear. keep up the great work, it’s much appreciated.

        1. Thanks Drosty!! Awesome. Thanks for commenting. Most of the comments are from people with opposing views :-). It’s nice to get some positive feedback.

          Feel free to comment more often. I truly value well measured responses and comments.

          So lots of Canuck Oranje fans there then?

    1. Hmmm, well Strootman is not 100% yet. He normally is pretty focused. A real winner. But he was injured – like Sneijder- and that will have affected him.

      He is also the defensive mid and when players like Karsdorp or Propper are out of position, Strootman is confronted with two or more defensive options and if he picks the wrong one, it might seem he’s not “alert”. But I would never say to Strootman’s face that he is asleep at times, if you know what I mean…

      1. ha ha…when we get old its always better not to say like unless u r a DON or so.
        what i have seen form our defense was we were cut through by simple belarus..that worrisome for me..Some how i dont feel trust with Bruma-virgil-Strootman as leader of the defense…
        De vrij——Kongolo
        ——Raidwald——-Seems better for me than Bruma—-Virgil

        1. I don’t think Strootman is old. Is that what you are saying?

          The guy lost more than a year and had an injury. He is vital to the team. Vice captain and all around bad ass.

          Strootman is the first man on the team sheet my dear Tiju. Riedewald doesn’t play for Ajax.

          More suggestions :-)?

          1. Reidewald is was doing great as DM.this boaz i dont know.Strootman is more of box to box when really fit…
            whether strootman starts or Raidwald starts it doesnt matter for me as we must win the game.if Feynoord can beat manu with zero real forwards we can beat this french team if we defend clinically against france.lets wait and see.hope that they will show the intensity vs a strong team.

  2. Great result for the team, it should give them a real boost of confidence before the France game. I’ve only seen the goals so I can’t comment too much about the team play but it must have been good to dominate possession and scoring.
    Really happy for Janssen to score a great goal – Bring on FranceQ,

    1. No vanbanger we literally got schooled in defense,i mean a big hole is there,which is invisible for many.i am worried..coz its home game and we must win it and send france to play off..

      1. We lost control for 15 minutes. Our pace dropped and Karsdorp struggled with his position play as one can expect (see Willems, Van Aanholt, Janmaat).

        Sneijder played on 80% intensity.
        We did not get schooled. We won 4-1, could have been 6-1 (Van Dijk, Wijnaldum)

          1. We could have been up 3-0 at half, if van Dijk’s goal had stood.
            I don’t think ‘the big hole’ is as invisible as you say. We all see the mistakes. I think where many differ from you is the solution. You propose benching Strootman, for an untested, non capped de Roon. You propose some even younger defenders who aren’t playing regularly for their clubs. You proposed Willems in place of Promes before the game. You proposed ‘Miracle player Siem de Jong’.

            Overall, as was mentioned already, a really solid game. Karsdorp was awesome, although his inexperience did show. But, for his first cap… i’ll take it. I do agree on de vrij over Bruma. Perhaps in time, as he’s returning from a long layoff.

            Your ideas are interesting? if you play a fantasy game. I’d prefer to leave the hard decisions to the manager who speaks and trains these guys.

  3. Sorry van den berg..i didnt say bench strootman…infact i want to see him furthur up..as u can see that in line up…i am in for pure destroyer dejong type…with two highly skilled box to box mdifeilders..
    If belarus can do that much thretening then how much,payet-greizmann,garmeiro,martial,pogba can do…
    Sorry sybe nailing is on wrong surface..

  4. rumour has it Blind will do 532 tomorrow, with de Vrij coming in for Sneijder

    Karsdorp-Bruma-van Dijk-deVrij-Blind

    PS Vorm has replaced Cillessen (ankle)

  5. Very interested to see how we will line up for France..

    What do you think is best?
    – test our current level of offensive 433 (even though LW Sneijder is missing)
    – do the 532 again (add de Vrij into the back, as Sneijder’s replacement to the starting 11)?
    – try something different altogether

  6. Hey guys:)
    I am on the flight now Detroit to Amsterdam, I arrive 5:30 am Amsterdam time, we have almost 4 hours left to be there!!
    I am super excited, in less than 24 hours I will be in the stadium and the adrenaline level in my body is already up the roof, I will enjoy every minute of it and I will write about my experience after the game:)

  7. I would say first thing first,they have to stop progba and matudi from dictating play from the middle because thats where the French will look forward to building up play from and feeding their forwards.if they get to boss the midfield then you can expect our defenders to come under immense pressure to the point where they may be tempted to make mistakes. Strootman aside they need to start with a another midfielder who is strong and fast.Hendrix perhaps.Riedewald also would have been a good option.

    Secondly if Danny start sonny boy in 4-3-3,then you except that left flank to be the operating point especially if sissoko starts on right wing.

    Looking at the Belarus game the first three goals were more or less sloppy goals either from deflection or errors while defending. With the French you really can’t expect them to be weak in that area when compared to the belarussians.

    1. Its strootman Vs pogba
      Matuid Vs wijnaldum in mid i dont think Both pogba and Matuidi will have easy time vs hardnuts wijnaldum and strootman.Both are one of the toughest players in the group with Bruma..My real worries are with Bruma and virgil…it makes me scary…what kind of damge french will do with payet,Greizmann and Gremiro upfront…while koeman and martial coe from bench..already i have seen martial schooling virgil for a lesson.i dont want to see that with orange..

    2. I hope we keep going with 4-3-3 (pseudo 4-4-2, sneijder isn’t really a winger) but with depay in his place. we all know that Depay is slower these days, but all we need is his passing/crossing. apart from that, I think the rest of his ability is same w/ Sneijder. poor first touch (some might not agree), average speed (Depay still could sprint faster), freekicks..

      midfield setup, if there’s one need to be replaced, I think it’s Klaassen. but I don’t know who’ll be the replacement.. Clasie maybe, for some variative playmaking.

      defense setup. of course, let’s try De Vrij. Bruma can come later.

      GK, Blind Sr already stated that Stek is a bit better than Mr.Zoet.

      oh I’m pumped up for the game!

      1. No Vanfadly we are winning and playing better without Depay,RVP,Afellay,Hunter,BMI,Weil etc..i am Manu fan i see zero threat in Depay freekicks he lacks accuracy that sneijder has.He has really poor first touch.Doesnt have the speed of promes,Roben etc…
        Ramseelar and Williams are better options for left and playymaking..IMO.
        i dont feel confident with stek at all..his and cillessen face looks less confident.

        1. well I just think of what we can achieve w/ our current squad. maybe later when Willems become consistent, Bart Rams back from injury etc. but as things goes now, I don’t see why Blind Sr. won’t try it out (playing Depay).

          unless we go full 5-3-2. then we already knew who will play instead of Sneijder… 🙂

          oh btw, yes Stek isn’t looked that commanding. but playing regularly, at EPL, against many great strikers (I think half of the teams there have lethal strikers)…

  8. This will be a big test for us but we are no easy beats, France have all of the pressure to perform and are expected to win. If they attack us like Deshamps is saying then there will be space for us on the counter to score.
    Virgil is used to playing against these guys, he proves his ability ever week in the EPL, Bruma I’m not so sure about and Daley can get caught for speed out wide, so it will be a tough one!
    If we play 433 then I think the 6&8 must sit deep to form a block in the middle, if we go 532 then I would play Virgil as a sweeper behind Bruma and DeVrij, I feel that good coaches can adapt their team to play what is required in a game, poor coaches have no plan B!
    I hope I can get a good coverage of the game.

      1. i think De Vrij –kongolo would be teh best Cb pairs of all..as both compliments very well.kongolo is really superfast for a CB.both are alert,focused,very good readers of game…when u give fast wing backs and to support them with a Gk like Zoet u will have solid defensive unit…kind of

  9. i thought Van bommel an intelligent man…
    What the F$%5k is this Van bommel??
    Its ur so called father in law spoiled every and u got schoooled in EC2012…hasnt u forgotten that?idiot van bommel??
    this made me real pissed off…
    Orange always relied on Roben under ur father in law,its roben who saved his A@@SS in 2010 ,hasnt u forgotten that?whether its433 or 352 ,roben was always trump card for any coaches for last 10 years.ur father in law lasted only because of fab4..

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