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Vloet calls for Netherlands concentration

His last-gasp goal gave the Netherlands a dramatic opening victory against Lithuania, yet Rai Vloet recognises his team must "focus for the full 90 minutes" from now on.

Vloet calls for Netherlands concentration
Vloet calls for Netherlands concentration ©UEFA.com

Despite opening the UEFA European Under-19 Championship with a dramatic victory against Lithuania, there are plenty of lessons to be learned according to the Netherlands' match winner Rai Vloet.

Wim van Zwam's side had seemed to be in complete control in Kaunas as Anass Achahbar scored twice in the first 30 minutes, but they allowed the tournament hosts back into the contest and when Gratas Sirgėdas made it 2-2 with seven minutes remaining, a draw looked the likeliest outcome. Vloet, however, had other ideas, striking deep into added time to settle an absorbing contest in the Oranje's favour and secure only a second U19 finals win following the 2010 defeat of England.

"We started really well," the PSV Eindhoven midfielder told UEFA.com. "When it was 2-1 we were controlling the game, but we didn't pay attention to Lithuania's counterattacks. The most important thing is that we won though; it's really important to win the first game in a tournament like this so we're very happy.

"[Lithuania] have a good team with strong, fast players," Vloet added. "They play with heart and that's nice to see. We started well but we need to learn to keep doing the same things and not give our opponents two easy goals. We have to stay focused for the full 90 minutes."

The Dutch have form in terms of late winners, however, having booked their place in the finals thanks to Thom Haye's last-gasp goal in their final qualifying fixture. "We had a similar game against Germany in the elite round," Achahbar remembered. "I thought it could be the same here – that we could score in the last second. For that to happen we had to keep fighting like we did. You can score at any time in football; we kept going and got the goal in the final seconds."

Next up for the Netherlands are a Portugal team looking to bounce back after an opening defeat by neighbours Spain, and Vloet expects both teams to be among the contenders to win the entire competition. "Now the most important thing is to look at the next game, and then there's a game after that, but of course Portugal and Spain are great teams and it's going to be difficult. We have a lot of qualities and we have trust in the future."