The Netherlands must wait until matchday three to rubber-stamp a place in the UEFA European Under-17 Championship semi-finals after a goalless Group B draw with Belgium.
While Albert Stuivenberg's title holders had enjoyed a winning start against hosts Slovenia on Friday, Belgium were already playing catch-up having lost 1-0 to Poland. Though the Dutch had a handful of chances to make it six points out of six at the Stadion Ljudski vrt, Belgium held them at bay and were good value for their first point in the section.
Outmuscled on matchday one by coach Patrick Klinkenberg's own admission, Belgium's physical inferiority once more came to the fore early on here. The holders twice took the aerial route to carve open their opponents inside 22 minutes, but Nathan Ake was thwarted by Lucas Pirard and Rai Vloet headed over.
A rasping Thom Haye shot aside, the Netherlands created no further first-half openings but always looked to be in charge thanks to the midfield dominance of Ake, Tonny Trindade de Vilhena and Haye. Equally assured at the back, the Oranje looked to be too tough a nut for Belgium to crack.
They emerged resurgent after the interval, though, with Leander Dendoncker taking it upon himself to inject some much-needed thrust into midfield. One such surge very nearly resulted in a fortunate opener, but his deflected shot was turned behind by Nick Olij. The Dutch No1 was called into action again a minute later, this time to deny Corentin Fiore from close range after the Belgium captain had drifted into space at a corner.
Just as the tide looked to be turning, however, the Netherlands reasserted their authority. Composed on the ball, they were nevertheless unable to unpick the Belgian lock, with only Trindade de Vilhena's late header providing Pirard with any real cause for concern.