A 1-0 victory moves the Netherlands into second place, above Serbia on head-to-head record, and with a Saturday fixture against bottom side Scotland to come, Clasie's team are now in a strong position to reach the semi-finals. Having deservedly taken a half-time lead in Antalya last night, the Netherlands found themselves overrun at times in the second period by a far bigger Serbia selection, but held on.
"I am very happy with the result and proud that my team-mates gave everything today," Clasie said. "It was also the case in the Turkey game, apart from the first 20 minutes. That was also a very good game but we didn't score goals then. Now we have scored one so I am very happy with that."
The Feyenoord player admitted that Serbia had the Netherlands pinned back late on. "I was a little bit worried as they brought on a lot of tall players," Clasie said. "Sometimes we had to use two players to get to that height, especially at set plays. But the scoreline says 1-0."
'Everybody kept faith'
Now the Netherlands can again dream of emulating their 2005 squad's run to the final, and they have experience of fighting back from an opening defeat as in the Elite round they began by losing 1-0 to Bosnia-Herzegovina but then won twice to top the group. That experience no doubt helped them keep their heads up in the days between Sunday's loss to Turkey and the Serbia gamne. "The spirit was good," Clasie said. "We all trained very hard and over the last two days everybody kept faith."
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