Battling Dutch delight Van Gaal

20 November 2013 12:31

Holland manager Louis van Gaal was full of praise for his team after they extended their unbeaten run to 17 games with a battling goalless draw against Colombia.

Jeremain Lens was given a straight red card for raising his hands to Pablo Armero after 35 minutes and the Oranje's night got worse before the break as both Rafael van der Vaart and Siem de Jong were forced off injured.

Despite that, Holland held on for a draw, with Colombia's star striker Radamel Falcao becalmed throughout.

"I'm very proud, very happy," Van Gaal told Dutch television station SBS 6 after the game.

"With 11 men we were the better team and with 10 men we stayed very clever in the game.

"I have seen a great match. Perhaps the best under my leadership."

He added: "Even with 10 men we played convincingly. We have continued to fight in the game."

The former Barcelona coach could not have had any arguments with Lens' dismissal after the Dynamo Kiev forward lashed out at Armero after the two had challenged for a low cross.

Both players went down and Armero appeared to kick Lens in the shin with his heel while they were on the floor before the Dutchman responded by pushing the Napoli defender in the face.

"He should have control. That is part of your profession," said Van Gaal.

"I just saw the pictures and you'll see that he gets the heel of his opponent with a speed at which you can reach an injury.

"So I can imagine his reaction, but it should not have happened."

The draw meant Holland ended the year as the only undefeated team in Europe and Colombia boss Jose Pekerman is certain that facing them will prove good preparation for his team ahead of next year's World Cup in Brazil.

"The style of the Netherlands was similar to that of Belgium and cannot be compared with ours," he told a post-match press conference.

"It's very different from what we are used to in South America. But after these tests we feel very strong, we feel that we can compete with these teams next year during the World Cup."

Source: PA

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