Live Commentary: Latvia 0-2 Netherlands - as it happened

Netherlands' forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar celebrates after scoring a goal during the Friendly football match between the Netherlands and USA on June 5, 2015
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's live coverage of Netherlands' hard-fought 2-0 win over Latvia in Riga.

Netherlands edged out Latvia 2-0 in Riga to maintain their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2016 after a disastrous start to the campaign.

Guus Hiddink's men dominated the opening half but failed to find the net, with Wesley Sneijder going closest when his curling effort shaved the outside of the far post.

The turning point came on 67 minutes when Georginio Wijnaldum - who replaced Robin van Persie moments earlier - rolled home the opener from close range.

Minutes later it was two through Luciano Narsingh, who casually slotted home the second to effectively seal the victory as the Oranje move five points behind Group A leaders Iceland.

Below, relive the drama of their hard-fought win with our live commentary.

7.17pmGood evening ladies and gents and thanks for joining our live coverage of Netherlands' visit to Latvia. I'm Shane and I'll be taking you through all the action in Riga as Guus Hiddink's men travel to the capital knowing that anything but a victory would be bad news for their hopes of reaching Euro 2016.

7.19pmCan you imagine a major competition without the bright orange of the Netherlands? Me neither. But it's a prospect that is threatening to become reality after Hiddink led the Oranje to a truly rotten start to the qualification campaign.

7.21pmThey picked up seven points from a possible 15 to sit third - five points behind second-placed Iceland and six adrift of Group A leaders Czech Republic. The good news is that Iceland and Czech Republic play each other tonight, meaning that dropped points are guaranteed, but the Dutch still have to win.

7.23pmLatvia won't be present in France next summer because a) they're not very good and b) they're 10 points off the pace. But Marian Pahars - who you may remember from his decent spell with Southampton - will hope to motivate his troops to salvage some professional pride after losing the reverse fixture 6-0 in Amsterdam late last year.

7.25pmIs that enough of a preamble? Good. Let's get you some team news, shall we? Fair enough. Stay tuned folks.

7.27pmNETHERLANDS XI: Cillessen; Van der Wiel, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Willems; Blind, Sneijder; Narsingh, Depay, Van Persie; Huntelaar

7.29pmLATVIA XI: Vanins; Gorkss, Freimanis, Maksimenko, Visnakovs' Ikaunieks, Tarasovs, Zjuzins, Jagodinskis; Sabala, Rakels

7.32pmWe'll start with the visitors and Mr Hiddink makes FIVE changes to his side from the 4-3 defeat to USA seven days ago. Gregory van der Wiel comes in at right-back for Daryl Janmaat, while Jetro Willems and Stefan de Vrij also come into defence along side Bruno Martins Indi. Jordy Clasie and Georgino Wijnaldum step out for Luciano Narsingh and Wesley Sneijder.

7.34pmFinally, Klaas Jan Huntelaar spearheads the attack, with Robin van Persie in behind at number 10 and Memphis Depay on the left side of attack. You could see why United spent £25m on Depay in his display against USA last week - he was different class.

7.37pmDID YOU KNOW? These sides have only ever met twice before? Yep. We touched on that 6-0 demolition earlier in this campaign, with Huntelaar grabbing himself a brace that day, but Dick Advocaat's Netherlands also won 3-0 in a Euro 2004 group game 11 years ago - Latvia's only finals campaign to date.

7.40pmPREDICTION: Right we're about five minutes from kickoff, ladies and gents. Prediction? Why not. 4-1 to the visitors. Netherlands haven't been great, and that 4-3 defeat to USA won't have done them much good, but they do have an abundance of quality and that definitely should see them win comfortably this evening.

7.42pmBoth sets of players enter the field now and the atmosphere is minimal it has to be said. Netherlands are playing in white this evening. All white on the night? Most probably, but let's see if Latvia can spring a surprise.

7.43pmWesley Sneijder involved tonight of course, and did you know he was involved in the first meeting at Euro 2004? Yep. He replaced ruddy Edgar Davids in the second half. That's how long this bloke has been around. Fair play to him.

1 minKICKOFF: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand we're off in Riga. Lativa, playing from left to right, get us underway. Let's go ladies and gents.

3 minFairly even start to this one it has to be said. Latvia, huge underdogs remember, have enjoyed plenty of possession so far.

6 minSHOT! We've seen our first shot and it's from the Netherlands as Manchester United new boy Memphis Depay picks the ball up on the left wing, cuts inside and drills at goal, but it's blocked. Depay is a nuisance and he'll be looking to get on the ball a lot tonight. Watch this space.

10 minNetherlands slowly but surely growing on top but they're still struggling to get behind the hosts' rearguard thus far. Anybody expecting another 6-0 trouncing might be waiting a while because Latvia look far more organised this time around. Only 10 minutes gone, though, so who knows.

12 minSHOT! Robin van Persie, playing a little deeper than usual tonight, tries to open the scoring in outrageous fashion as he looks to lob Vanins from the halfway line but his effort goes well over.

14 minBOOKING: We've seen our first booking now as Deniss Rakels is shown a yellow card for allegedly diving in the box after Gregory van der Wiel made a mess of a routine clearance. There was contact, but he went down far too easily. Probably the right decision.

16 minSHOT! Depay is one of these annoying players who takes a shot every single time there's one on, isn't he? He's taken another one here and it's deflected out for a corner, which comes to nothing.

18 minCHANCE! We have to classify this as a chance, and it's for the visitors as Luciano Narsingh's first-time volley goes well wide after latching on to Sneijder's superb lofted ball. Should be 1-0.

20 minOFF THE POST! Netherlands are getting closer and they're within the width of the post from taking the lead. Van Persie's brilliant raking pass from midfield is met by Depay, who squares to Sneijder but the midfielder's curling effort shaves the outside of the far post. Fine effort.

23 minIs it just me or is it really, really annoying seeing a player take a shot every single time the goal is within 30 yards? It's Depay again, who has had his fourth shot of the game and this one again is blocked. The previous effort was scuffed, and Huntelaar was livid because he was unmarked in the box. Unless I'm very mistaken, United fans can't mock their Liverpool counterparts over the frequency of Sturridge's shots next term.

27 minSHOT! Guess who? Yep, it's our mate Memphis Depay again, but he's closer this time as he drills into the side netting. Still, that's his fifth shot of the night.

29 minCHANCE! Another good chance for the Oranje to edge ahead, as Huntelaar heads into the path of Van Persie, who volleys straight at Vanins from inside the box. Given Van Persie's goal record for club and country, he probably should've scored then.

31 minThere's four men in the crowd wearing bright orange suits. It remains to be seen if they're Netherlands fans or protestants, but probably Dutch fans.

33 minIt's 12-0 to Netherlands in attempts folks, and Depay has had five of them. We've only seen two real chances - one from Narsingh and one from Van Persie.

35 minSo, Latvia aren't doing much in the final third, sure, but they'll be optimistic that they can earn a point. There's only an hour of football left to play, which seems like a lot, and it is, but the longer Netherlands go without scoring, the more Latvia will believe and belief can be difficult to break. Watch this space.

37 minGints Freimanis is down injured, giving us a second to appreciate the noise being made by the home fans. Lord knows what they're singing, but they are singing and that's key.

37 minSHOT! That's six unsuccessful shots from Depay now, as he tries an audacious bicycle from Van Persie's lofted cross but it rolls into the arms of Vanins. Decent effort but a bit too Hollywood. Robert de Niro, Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman would be facepalming if they saw that.

39 minSAVE! Cracking save this from Vanins, who keeps out Willems' close-range thump after galloping forward from left back. A goal is coming, but will it come before half time? That's the question my friends.

41 minSHOT! This is an onslaught but it's still 0-0...somehow. Luciano Narsingh beats a few challenges, straying from his right-wing position before firing a left-footed shot just wide of the mark. Better from Narsingh, who's been fairly quiet. I think that's 15-0 in shots.

44 minDisappointing delivery from Van Persie, whose free kick curls straight out for a goal kick. Looks like it's going to be 0-0 at the break, folks.

45 minSHOT! We've very nearly seen the breakthrough? By the Netherlands, right? Nope. Latvia have their first shot and it's very close, as Valerijs Sabala's outside-of-the-boot effort goes just wide. That would've hurt the visitors.

8.30pmHALF TIME: Latvia 0-0 Netherlands

8.32pmThat's all she wrote in this half folks. Netherlands have absolutely dominated, with Depay having about eight of their 18 shots, but somehow it's still 0-0.

8.34pmTheir defence has done well overall because, despite an abundance of shots, only perhaps two of them were real goalscoring chances. Oh, and Sneijder hit the post.

8.36pmThey're halfway to a massive result. Sure, they won't qualify for Euro 2016, but this is a pretty big sporting event on these shores so winning a point would be great for them.

8.38pmAnd who's to say they can't win? Netherlands, with 63% possession and 18 shots, almost conceded right at the end of the half when Sabala's outside-of-the-boot effort swerved narrowly wide of Jesper Cillessen's goal. That's a warning if ever there was one for Guus Hiddink's men, who need a great big kick up the you know what during the break.

8.39pmLatvia fans have been brilliant as well. They're up for this; constantly singing and most of them will be hoarse in the morning.

8.41pmSpeaking of hoarse, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Hiddink's number two, scored twice when Netherlands beat this mob 3-0 back in Euro 2004. They could do with the ex-Manchester United man in the second half because Huntelaar hasn't done much. Then again, he's not had much service, with Depay opting to shoot virtually every time he's in possession, and Narsingh doing little on the opposite flank.

8.42pmVan Persie, playing in a much, much deeper role than we've come to expect from him, has been excellent overall. He may not score the first goal, given that he's playing well behind Huntelaar, but he will most probably play a big role in it.

8.43pmAnywho, I'm celebrating all things orange and it's time for my half-time Fanta and Jaffa cakes so meet be back here in a few minutes for the second half. Or else.

45 minRESTART: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand we're back underway in Riga, my friends. Will Netherlands snatch a deserved win? Will Latvia send their fans into raptures with a shock victory? Is an orange, the fruit, called an orange because of the color? We'll know the answer to at least two of these questions in about 45 minutes. Let's go.

49 minCHANCE! Pretty much as you were from that one-sided first half as Netherlands continue to dominate, and Depay, who's had about eight efforts already, has another now when he heads Sneijder's scuffed volley over the bar. Should've scored in truth.

52 minDepay's lucky to avoid a yellow card for scything down Arturs Zjuzins, but referee gives him a warning.

55 minLatvia are committing men forward all of a sudden. And why not? They haven't won yet in Euro 2016 qualifying, meaning that they won't qualify for Euro 2016. Consequently, what's to lose? Nish. Go for it lads. The fans want a win I think.

57 minBrave defending from Rakels, who isn't actually a defender, as he throws his head in the way of De Vrij's fierce drive and deflects it over for a corner, which comes to nothing. We said earlier that the longer it stays at 0-0, the stronger Latvia's belief will grow and it's turned out like that thus far.

60 minI'm going to put my neck on the line here and say that Netherlands won't score. I've seen the Dutch recently and they haven't inspired confidence that they're even remotely as good as the side that came third at the World Cup. They've been poor today overall and I can't see them scoring. Quote me folks.

63 minCHANCE! I'm telling you Depay has a cheeky tenner on himself for 1st goal. He's had a ridiculous amount of shots - mostly from ridiculous positions - and he's just had another one that has gone well, well, well wide.

65 minSUB: Big call from Guus Hiddink, who replaces captain Van Persie with Georgino Wijnaldum. Strange one, and you can see what RVP thought of the decision after shaking his head slightly. He's bemused.

65 minSAVE! Having said that, Wijnaldum almost scored! The sub's looping header forces Vanins into a finger-tip save to keep out the header. That would've shut me and RVP up.

67 minGOAL! Latvia 0-1 Netherlands (Wijnaldum)

67 minWe said it was a brilliant sub, didn't we? In all seriousness, the Dutch are finally one-up and it's a brilliant goal really. Sneijder's effort is deflected into the path of Wijnaldum on the right-hand side, before the sub expertly turns Vitalijs Maksimenko to poke home past Vanins, who surely deserved a clean sheet. 1-0.

70 minWijnaldum has made a world of difference here, and credit to Guus Hiddink. He's almost in again here but he just couldn't get on the end of Sneijder's brilliant ball.

71 minGOAL! Latvia 0-2 Netherlands (Narsingh)

72 minPut a fork in her. It. Whatever. This one is surely over. Daley Blind plays Luciano Narsingh in on goal and the winger, with Depay unmarked at the back post, goes for glory by slotting past Vanins. Good finish. I wouldn't have passed to Depay either.

74 minWith Iceland and Czech Republic drawing 1-1 in Iceland's capital (I'd cause an international incident by trying to spell the name of the city) here's how Group A now looks as it stands:

1 - Czech Republic 14
2 - Iceland 13
3 - Netherlands 10

77 minSUB: Newcastle right-back Daryl Janmaat replaces Jetro Willems. Van der Wiel has gone to left-back now.

81 minOFF THE BAR! How unlucky is Sneijder? Hit the post in the first half, and now he's hit the bar. But what an effort it was; a chip from outside the box that left Vanins with no chance but it bounces off the underside of the bar and out for a goal kick. So unlucky.

84 minSHOT! Sneijder looks hell bent on scoring and his rasping effort from outside the box nearly deceives Vanins, who eventually makes the save. Six minutes to play folks.

87 minSUB: Memphis Depay, who's had a good game overall, is replaced by Jeremain Lens for the last three minutes or so.

89 minIceland are beating Czech Republic 2-1 now, my friends. Group A now looks a little like this:

1 - Iceland 15
2 - Czech Republic 13
3 - Netherlands 10


9.34pmFULL TIME: Latvia 0-2 Netherlands

9.35pmThat's all she wrote, my friends. Netherlands limp toward victory in Riga courtesy of second-half goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Luciano Narsingh. They made hard work of it, but they got there in the end. And credit to Dutch boss Guus Hiddink, who replaced Wijnaldum with leading goalscorer Robin van Persie minutes before the opener. It was a bold decision but he got it right.

9.35pmAnywho, that's time. Thanks for joining our live text coverage. Hopefully you've enjoyed it, and we'll see you next time. See ya folks.

Head coach Guus Hiddink of FC Anzhi Makhachkala looks on during the Russian Cup Final match between FC Anji Makhachkala and PFC CSKA Moscow at the Akhmat-Arena Stadium on June 01, 2013
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