Fiji Time: 10:14 AM on Sunday 28 August

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

Netherlands lay low

Afp
Thursday, March 06, 2014

PARIS, AFP - Dutch coach Louis van Gaal believes it could prove tough to achieve the target he set to reach the World Cup semi-finals later this year, he said yesterday.

When he took over as national coach for the second time after Euro 2012, van Gaal, 62, was handed the task of a last four finish in Brazil.

But he said although he had a really talented young side, it could be exposed by more experienced teams in June.

The Dutch — who went out in the group phase of Euro 2012 leading to coach Bert van Marwijk leaving his post — have been drawn in a particularly hard group with holders Spain, highly-thought-of Chile and Australia.

Van Gaal, who made his name as a top level coach with a young Ajax side during the 1990s by guiding them to the 1995 Champions League trophy, pitches his team up against France in a friendly today, the last match before he names his provisional 30-man squad for the finals.

Ahead of the game he was at pains to suggest that the Dutch should not be regarded as serious contenders for the World Cup.

"According to the FIFA rankings, we are eighth or 10th ... it doesn't matter which, but we are not one of the favourites," he said.

"I view Brazil and Argentina and, from Europe, Spain and Germany as the favourites.

"We consider ourselves as outsiders. I arrived as coach (after the Euro) with certain targets: qualify for the finals and then reach the semi-finals.

"We have introduced a lot of fresh young blood into the team and played really nice football and scored a lot of goals in the qualifying group.

"However, the semi-finals will be a really hard goal to achieve."








Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Westpac
Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.63900.6200
JPY 50.424247.4242
GBP 0.37370.3657
EUR 0.43830.4263
NZD 0.68420.6512
AUD 0.65260.6276
USD 0.49640.4794

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 26th August 2016

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Students wait
  2. Vou group wows crowd, scoops award
  3. Mata signs new deal
  4. Contractor to do finishing touch ups
  5. Epi crowned North queen
  6. Road to fashion
  7. Skilled workers
  8. Logging concessions
  9. Smiles for children
  10. Need for evaluation, says Ali

Top Stories this Week

  1. Wong helps Rawaca get a gold medal Friday (26 Aug)
  2. 1 charged, 2 under probe for break-in Thursday (25 Aug)
  3. Taliga eyes Tokyo Tuesday (23 Aug)
  4. 5.1 magnitude earthquake occurs in Fiji Monday (22 Aug)
  5. 7s top job Tuesday (23 Aug)
  6. Veremalua gets help from Ryan on overseas contract Saturday (27 Aug)
  7. Police escort fan away Monday (22 Aug)
  8. 'Ryan a loss' Tuesday (23 Aug)
  9. Ryan may return Friday (26 Aug)
  10. Kolinisau surprises fans with Macuata dialect Friday (26 Aug)