Despite a strong "feeling of pride" at his side's ninth successive UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying win, Netherlands forward Rafael van der Vaart said it was "a shame" the 1-0 defeat of Moldova had not been more convincing.
The Oranje dominated a one-sided contest in Rotterdam but were left frustrated by their inability to add to Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's 40th-minute goal. Forward Rafael van der Vaart had mixed feelings after the match, having himself twice been denied by Moldova's in-form goalkeeper Stanislav Namaşco.
"Of course, there is a feeling of pride," the Tottenham Hotspur FC forward told UEFA.com. "You want to win every match, and it is all very nice to become group winner with a perfect record. The European Championship itself will be a different matter of course.
"We have won every match so far, and that is what counts. We wanted to register a good result so it is a shame that it was only 1-0. We had a lot of possession, but did not have the best form. We had some bad luck, like Robin [van Persie] hitting the crossbar."
Nonetheless the Oranje are on course to make it a perfect ten wins out of ten, provided they overcome Sweden, assured of second spot in the section, in their final game in Solna on Tuesday. Indeed, with the Scandinavian outfit requiring victory to guarantee an automatic place in the finals as the best runners-up, the Oranje's unblemished record is sure to be tested in four days' time.
"It would be nice to finish the qualification with a perfect record," added Van der Vaart. "Sweden still have something to play for, so I think it will be a great game." Another player looking forward to the trip to Sweden will be Huntelaar, the match winner and leading goalscorer in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying campaign with 11 goals – the same tally it will take him to match Patrick Kluivert's all-time scoring record for the Netherlands.
"My goal was a nice one," he said. "It was nice run from Dirk [Kuyt] and I got into an unmarked position and scored at the near post. After that we were hoping the floodgates would open and we would have scored more if they had taken more risks, but they stayed back in defence.
"We played pretty well in the first half, gave the match width but things did not run for us as we would have liked. We still have one more match to win. It is important for us to finish with a win. I think it will be a much better match as Sweden also have something to play for."
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