Football: Manchester United's Daley Blind faces lengthy absence after knee injury

Daley Blind of the Netherlands lies injured after a challenge with Latvia's Eduards Viskanovs during their Euro 2016 Group A qualifying match in Amsterdam on Nov 16, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Daley Blind of the Netherlands lies injured after a challenge with Latvia's Eduards Viskanovs during their Euro 2016 Group A qualifying match in Amsterdam on Nov 16, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

AMSTERDAM (AFP) - Manchester United midfielder Daley Blind faces a lengthy period on the sidelines after suffering suspected knee ligament damage in the Netherlands 6-0 win over Latvia in Sunday's Euro 2016 qualifier.

Blind was hurt after just 20 minutes following a collision with Eduards Visnakovs. "It is his medial ligament. It could be a strain or a tear," said Dutch coach Guus Hiddink.

Blind said he was "gutted" with the setback, writing on his Facebook page: "I'm proud of my 25 games for the Dutch national team, but I'm so gutted with my injury... I'll stay positive and will come back stronger! Nevertheless a great win, 6-0."

Hiddink, meanwhile, could breathe a sigh of relief, as Arjen Robben and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar both scored twice with captain Robin van Persie and Jeffrey Bruma also on target as the Oranje claimed just their second win in four games in Group A.

Hiddink, in his second spell as Dutch coach, had indicated that he would resign if his side suffered another disappointing result after suffering four defeats in their five games since finishing third at the World Cup in Brazil under his predecessor Louis van Gaal.

However, Latvia had mustered just two points and scored only one goal in their opening three qualifiers for the finals in France and an upset never looked on the cards in a one-sided encounter at the Amsterdam ArenA.

Having already been beaten in the Czech Republic and in Iceland, Hiddink's side still have some catching up to do but this result takes some of the pressure off with their next qualifier, at home to struggling Turkey, not until the end of March.