"There is a lot of satisfaction, but it is only one step", he said.
The Dutch needed a victory in Barysaw to keep alive any hopes of a top-two finish, but despite a third goal in two games from Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Davy Propper, Belarus equalised through Maksim Volodjko.
But they now face a near impossible task, as Sweden thrashed Luxembourg 8-0 earlier on Saturday, with forward Marcus Berg scoring four goals, to extend their advantage over Dick Advocaat's men on goal difference to 12.
Portugal go into that game with Switzerland three points behind their rivals but with a much better goal difference meaning the victor will be guaranteed a place in Russian Federation nest summer. "Well, you qualify to win it".
World Cup 2018 Qualifiers' permutations for the Home Nations
He said: "The tendency is to go with players with first-team experience because you have evidence of how they will react". In the centre, Eric Dier plays a physical holding role for Spurs and has generally performed well for England .
However, to have any chance of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation, the Netherlands team will have to down Sweden by six goals in their next outing. Presumably wanting to rest their talisman, coach Fernando Santos started with Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench. There's no one player who makes the difference.
Steven Zuber scored twice in Basel as Switzerland made it nine wins from nine by thrashing Hungary 5-2.
The early kick off in Group A saw already qualified Belgium won a seven goal thriller with Bosnia and Herzegovina 4-3, in a game that saw Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini limp off with an injury to his left knee.
At minute 3, Juventus star Matuidi took a pass from Griezmann and booted the ball past Iliev into the net to give France a 1-0 lead.
The French are assured of at least a playoff place, with the best eight second-placed teams going through to the two-legged playoffs. Bosnia equalised through Dario Đumić, but Yannick Carrasco sealed the game with a late victor.