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Pot urges Netherlands to build on 'euphoria'

Published: Tuesday 11 June 2013, 19.10CET
Cor Pot wants the Netherlands to build on the excitement building back home by winning Group B above a Spain side whose coach Julen Lopetegui predicts an attractive encounter.
by Josh Hershman & Santi Retortillo
from Ha Moshava
Pot urges Netherlands to build on 'euphoria'
Cor Pot wants his Dutch side to build on their impressive start ©Sportsfile

Tournament statistics


Goals scored12
Attempts on target32
Attempts off target38
Fouls committed49
Yellow cards9
Red Cards0

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Published: Tuesday 11 June 2013, 19.10CET

Pot urges Netherlands to build on 'euphoria'

Cor Pot wants the Netherlands to build on the excitement building back home by winning Group B above a Spain side whose coach Julen Lopetegui predicts an attractive encounter.

Netherlands coach Cor Pot has called on his team to build on the "certain euphoria" that they have created by qualifying for the Under-21 semi-finals with a game to spare. The Jong Oranje's last Group B outing pits them against a Spain side also through to the last four courtesy of Álvaro Morata's second late goal in as many matches. All that remains is for the teams to settle top spot in Petah Tikva on Wednesday, with Spain coach Julen Lopetegui predicting an "attractive" encounter.

Julen Lopetegui, Spain coach
It's an attractive match against Holland as they are great opponents. We will send out a competitive lineup. Maybe there could be changes, but we are going to select a team that will try and get the three points.

We are very happy with our squad in terms of how they are competing, how they are living in the hotel – and when I say competing, I'm talking about all of them and the way they're living the matches, some on the pitch and others on the sidelines. We are delighted and want this to continue.

The Netherlands are an attacking team. They have a lot of quality and in this group there's a brilliant generation. Twelve of these players have senior caps, many of them are usually in the senior squad. They are an attacking side and have managed to score eight goals already, which is not usual in a tournament like this.

It's not easy to be at these finals. I don't think any other European country is in as many tournaments as us – we have the U21s, U20s at the World Cup and U19s at the European Championship.

Matchday one result
Spain 1-0 Russia (Morata 82)

Matchday two result
Germany 0-1 Spain (Morata 86)

De Gea; Montoya, Bartra, Martínez, Moreno; Koke, Illarramendi, Thiago; Tello (Muniain 85), Rodrigo (Morata 73), Isco (Camacho 89).

• Spain dominated possession for long spells and came close to scoring on a number of occasions before Álvaro Morata struck late on for the second successive game.

• Man of the match: Martín Montoya

Team news
Spain have no injuries or suspensions, leaving Lopeteui with a full squad to select from, though he is likely to make some changes with one eye on the semi-finals.

Cor Pot, Netherlands coach
What is important is that players get a rest between games. These days they play every two days which is quite a lot. The players that haven't played are eager and willing. We are one team and all the players are selected because of their quality. I've already decided on my team.

Spain are a very strong side. They have lots of options. They haven't scored many goals but they have created lots of chances. They have excellent players but so do we. They have lots of technical players with skills and speed. We have other qualities. We can play very well with the ball as we showed against Germany. If we can play our own game and keep the ball, we can control the game.

A couple of months ago we played Italy in a friendly and lost 3-0 at home. We played Norway in a friendly too and won 4-1, but losing to Italy or beating Norway doesn't mean anything. They are both very good teams.

We are not a nursery where all the players can have a turn. We are a professional side who have 23 players in the squad and the best players will play. It's a pity for Bram Nuytinck that he's outside the starting XI after playing a lot in qualifying but we try to play the best team. The only thing he can do is practise hard and make sure he's ready when he gets a chance. Players can either get angry or continue training and in this squad all the players accept their role and train as hard as they can.

I've had a lot of reaction about our performances from back home and there's a certain euphoria growing in the country. Our first match was watched by 1.4 million people – only the Queen gets more viewers!

Matchday one result
Netherlands 3-2 Germany (Maher 24, Wijnaldum 38, Fer 90; Rudy 47pen, Holtby 81)

Matchday two result
Netherlands 5-1 Russia (Wijnaldum 39, De Jong 61, John 69, Hoesen 83, Fer 90+2; Cheryshev 65)
Zoet; Van Rhijn, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Blind; Van Ginkel, Maher (Fer 73), Strootman (Clasie 77); Wijnaldum, De Jong (Hoesen 81), John.

• Georginio Wijnaldum's second goal in as many outings gave the Netherlands the lead before Nikita Chicherin saw red five minutes after the break. Pot's men took advantage of their numerical advantage to score four second-half goals and secure their passage to the semi-finals.

• Man of the match: Marco van Ginkel

Team news
Pot reports no significant fitness concerns ahead of the Group B finale, with just "a few small injuries" to be assessed by the team doctor. The coach has also dispelled rumours that Kevin Strootman and Stefan de Vrij are playing with knocks, saying: "I would have heard about it if they were."

Match fact
Spain have won seven of the sides' 11 competitive meetings, including four of the last five – although they traded home victories when the teams met in qualifying for the 2011 finals.

Did you know?
The Netherlands are in the finals for the first time since 2007, when they claimed a second successive title by prevailing on home soil with a 4-1 defeat of Serbia in Groningen. They had lifted the trophy for the first time with a 3-0 win over Ukraine in Portugal 12 months previously.

Last updated: 11/06/13 19.12CET