Erik Pieters scored the only goal as the Netherlands completed back-to-back wins over Finland to maintain their perfect start after two Group 4 matches in qualifying for the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
The Netherlands had beaten Finland in Emmen last month and PSV Eindhoven defender Pieters' solitary strike on 24 minutes was enough to defeat them again as the hosts fell to a third successive defeat. Finland qualified for the finals for the first time last summer but are yet to pick up a point in qualifying this time around and look hard pressed to repeat that feat in a group also including Spain and Poland.
In contrast, the Netherlands – back-to-back winners of the competition in 2006 and 2007 – are finding their stride under new coach Cor Pot and despite creating few chances, took the one that mattered. Midway through the first half the home side were unable to deal with Diego Biseswar's corner from the left and Dutch captain Pieters stole in to finish from close range.
The Jong Oranje continued to dominate the first half and forced Markku Kanerva into changes at the break, which brought a positive response from his players. They took the initiative and created a number of openings, the best of which fell to centre-back Paulus Arajuuri late on, only for his impressive overhead kick to be well saved by Tim Krul in the Dutch goal.