The Netherlands have punched their ticket to the World Cup with a sound 2-0 win over Andorra on Tuesday at Estadi Comunal d'Andorra la Vella.
Before the Netherlands match had even concluded, Romania lost to Turkey and that paved the way for the Oranje to secure enough points to wrap up Group D.
QUALIFIED: Netherlands confirm their place at World Cup 2014 pic.twitter.com/1iWhJpy4ao— B/R Football (@br_football) September 10, 2013
Fittingly, it was Robin van Persie who led the way, scoring both of his side's goals despite a spirited effort from bottom-dwelling Andorra.
This match got off to an interesting start. Andorra were aggressive and creating opportunities. It was tough to tell that this was the same squad that had gone without a goal in their World Cup qualifying run.
The Andorran defence did a good job on van Persie early on and while the Dutch had a few breaks, they were kept at bay.
Meanwhile, Andorra had what was their best chance in the opening stages when Marc Pujol took a corner in the 22nd minute and Emili Garcia had a nearly-unchallenged look at a header, but he sent the ball over the bar.
With the Netherlands continually being forced to play the ball back into their own half, they created some decent chances in the first half, but hit the dressing room with the match locked at nil-nil.
The second half was a different story. Just five minutes in, van Persie drilled a shot from the edge of the area that curled into the back of the net. It was a spectacular effort.
GOAL OF THE NIGHT: Robin Van Persie smashes home a 25 yard curler for Holland! What an unreal finish!… http://t.co/iBY1OO6Vze— BBC Sporf (@BBCSporf) September 10, 2013
Just four minutes later, the Manchester United striker had a far easier sight of goal and he tapped it in unchallenged for a 2-0 advantage.
The Oranje were largely content just to hang on to the ball after that score. While Andorra continued to push for their first goal of qualifying, it wasn't to be.
The Netherlands left this match with not the most impressive 2-0 win but a complete effort nonetheless.
Netherlands, Robin van Persie: A
After what had been a somewhat frustrating first half, the Manchester United star came out determined in the second half and he lifted his team with him.
In all, van Persie wound up firing off nine shots and he was pushing all match.
Van Persie continues to show that while he is healthy and on the pitch, the Netherlands are going to be a load to handle.
Andorra, Ildefonso Llima: A
At the heart of Andorra's commendable defensive effort was Ildefonso Llima. He provided a consistent and physical presence against the talented Netherlands' attack.
He also nearly earned his side's first goal with a 40-yard free-kick near the end of the match but couldn't get past Dutch keeper Michel Vorm.
|D||Moises San Nicolas||B|
|M||Victor Hugo Moreira||C|
|M||Josep Manuel Ayala||C|
|D||Stefan de Vrij||B|
|F||Robin van Persie||A|
What's next for the Netherlands is that they focus on the World Cup. They still have two more qualifiers left, which will come in mid-October, but they can now use those to work on refining their form for their trip to Brazil.
Meanwhile, Andorra will continue to try and make strides and actually score a goal, which they will attempt to do next against Romania on October 11.