After dropping two straight games and in dire need of goals, the Netherlands unleashed a flurry of scoring against Latvia en route to a 6-0 victory in European qualifying play Sunday at PSV Stadium.
Arjen Robben and Klass Jan Huntelaar each scored in the first half and connected braces in the final eight minutes of play. Forward Robin van Persie started the onslaught with a header goal in sixth minute, Robben recorded goals in the 35th and 82nd minutes and Huntelaar got on the board in 42nd and 89th. Defender Jeffrey Bruma even got in on the action with his goal in the 78th minute.
The Dutch needed to recover from a 3-2 friendly loss to Mexico earlier in the week, and a shutout loss to Iceland last month, while gaining their second victory in Group A play. Latvia suffered its second loss and remain winless in the group.
Since a third-place finish at the World Cup, supporters hadn’t seen quite the same Netherlands squad until Sunday. All told, the Dutch were relentless, totaling 34 shots, forcing 14 corner kicks and maintaining a 75-25 possession advantage.
The team's typically crisp, sound passing and aggressive attacking were on full display starting with Van Persie. Robben stalked the ball down the right wing and then lifted a cross to an unmarked Van Persie in front of the net for a header to the bottom right corner of the net to gain the lead the Dutch would never relinquish.
Later Van Persie reciprocated, slipping a quick pass at the top of the penalty area to Robben and sealing off the trailing defender to give the Bayern Munich winger time and space for a magnificent left-footed curve and goal.
Huntelaar went to the ground for his first score, sliding through Latvia’s back line to deflect midfielder Ibrahim Afellay’s low cross and get the rout started.