AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -Captain Virgil van Dijk netted a second-half winner as the Netherlands beat neighbours Belgium 1-0 on Sunday to ensure top spot in their Nations League group and a place in next year’s finals tournament.
Van Dijk powered home a header from a corner in the 73rd minute at the Amsterdam Arena on Sunday to ensure the Dutch finished runaway winners in League A Group Four.
They finished with 16 points, six more than Belgium who had a chance to leapfrog their neighbours, and take first place, but needed to win by three goals or more on Sunday to do so.
Any hopes of a goal feast were quickly stymied, however, as the two sides effectively cancelled each other out in a tight tactical battle.
The Dutch pressing game frustrated Belgian efforts at building up attacks, while a five-man defence for the visitors meant there was little room for the home strikers.
It meant the winner came from a simple setpiece with Van Dijk leaping over his marker, the 18-year-old Zeno Debast, to give Louis van Gaal his 37th victory in his three spells in charge of the national side.