Absent in 2018, the Netherlands will return to a World Cup in Qatar in 2022 at the hands of Louis van Gaal, who today led the decisive victory against Norway (2-0) from a box and in a wheelchair due to a hip injury. produced on Sunday.
The ‘oranje’, with Frenkie de Jong as organizer and a Memphis Depay who scored his 12th goal in this European qualifying phase, finished first in group G with 23 points and achieved a direct passport to the World Cup despite not having the support of his hobby in an empty De Kuip in Rotterdam due to pandemic restrictions.
Turkey, to the play-off and Haaland, without the World Cup
Turkey finished second with 21 points after beating Montenegro (1-2) to the detriment of Norway that, with 18, is left out of the final phase. Consequently, Erling Haaland, today out due to injury, will not be in Qatar and will be one of the great absences.
The Netherlands managed the situation at all times based on Turkey’s result in Montenegro and, although it always took the initiative, it never put the directive to put the victory on track and avoid surprises. Meanwhile, Norway did not risk either in an attempt to stay with options until the final stretch of the match while waiting to strike the final blow.
Frenkie de Jong, organizer
With Frenkie de Jong initiating and organizing his actions, the ‘oranje’ also had Memphis Depay and Arnaut Danjuma from Barça their most incisive players, especially in the first half hour of play.
Depay lavished three shots in this phase of the game, taking advantage of the crosses of Denzel Dumfries and Steven Bergwijn, but goalkeeper Örjan Nyland easily saved his two somewhat forced headers and a spur shot.
Danjuma and Depay occasions
Meanwhile, Danjuma also had his chance in the 26th minute after a change of pace to the inside that culminated in a cross shot that narrowly missed.
Before half-time Depay tried again with a great volley from the front, after a defensive rebound, which did not surprise Nyland either (40 ‘).
Norway, to see them come
Norway, who in the absence of the injured Erling Haaland played with Alexander Sörloth (Real Sociedad) in the lead, showed no signs of life in attack in the first half and only cheered up in the final stretch by staying 0-0.
In the resumption, the Netherlands risked even less and the game went on for many moments without notable actions. In fact, the first Dutch shot in the second half did not come until the 66th minute with a deflected shot from Danjuma at the far post.
In the end, the goals
In the end came what Norway feared. Advancing his lines somewhat in search of the goal created a misalignment in his defensive swing and Bergwijn, in the 84th minute, received by the right of Danjuma with time to control and shoot Nyland with his left foot.
Already in discount, Depay completed his extraordinary qualifying phase with his 12th goal in 10 games, culminating on an empty goal a counter born in a corner thrown by Norway that Bergwijn led from start to finish from his area. The azulgrana ties with Harry Kane as the top scorer of the European groups, but, unlike the English, he has given six assists.
Van Gaal, goal accomplished
Van Gaal has already achieved the goal he set when he took office for the third time in August replacing Frank de Boer after falling in the round of 16 at the European Championship. Netherlands returns to the World Cup