The visitors took a surprise lead in the first half but goals from Klass-Jan Huntelaar, Ibrahim Afellay and Robin Van Persie settled the contest late in the second half.

Netherlands coach Guus Hiddink said he always felt confident that his side would secure the win against the minnows in their Euro 2016 qualifying game although they were made to work really hard for it.

“We can be satisfied. The only corner they had went in. Then we had to play against a wall of players. In the first half we suffered from that.”

“We stayed calm during half-time. But if we kept playing like that, we would get there eventually. It was just a matter of scoring goals. I didn’t have the feeling we would lose points tonight.”

Kazakhstan took a shock lead in the first half thanks to a Renat Abdulin header from the corner but second half substitute Klass-Jan Huntelaar restored parity just after the hour mark. Hiddink admitted that he was planning to bring on Huntelaar at some point after the break and believes his side will carry on this momentum to get the better of Iceland on Monday.

“During half-time we were planning Huntelaar’s substitution. It was good that the fans backed us after he came on,” he added.”I have confidence we can win the Iceland match. There will be more space to play than tonight.”

Robin Van Persie converted a late penalty and the Manchester United striker felt his side were in total control of the game even though the winner arrived very late in the second half.

“It was a bizarre night. But we got a good result in the end. It was difficult, but I think we played well. They didn’t have many chances. We always believed in ourselves.”

Ibrahim Afellay scored the crucial second goal in the 82nd minute and was visibly delighted to make a decisive contribution on his return to the national team setup after almost two years. The former Schalke man has been struggling with injuries for the past few seasons but has been in good form so far with his new club Olympiacos in Greece.

“For me, it has been a very difficult time. After two years of not being in the Dutch squad, taking part like this with a goal and an assist, that gives you a very good feeling. During the match I didn’t think about the special moment that I experienced. After the match, I realized that it was very special. This is a positive feeling for me.”

“Now I know it is not normal to be in such good health. So I will try to enjoy every moment on the pitch.”

The win extended Netherlands’ run of consecutive victories in home qualifying games to 18 and lifted them to the third spot in Group A. Hiddink’s team travel to Reykjavik to face Iceland next on Monday.