JOR, Qatar ( Associated Press) — The Netherlands has come a long way from emulating the “total football” teams of the 1970s or the more offensive-minded teams that reached the 2010 World Cup final and finished third in 2014. Is.
Nevertheless, a 2–0 win over Qatar on Tuesday sealed the Oranje’s place in the round of 16 as top spot in Group A, while pre-eliminated Qatar went on to lose all three matches of their World Cup group stage. Became the first host team.
Dutch midfielder Davy Klaasen said, “If you have to face Qatar, everyone predicts you will win with a score of 5–0 or bigger, but this tournament has shown that it is very difficult.” We are very self-critical and we need to improve. But we qualified and we moved on.”
Cody Gakpo put the Netherlands ahead with his third goal midway through the first half and Frankie de Jong scored the winner five minutes after the restart.
The Netherlands, which failed to qualify for Russia four years ago, has been three World Cup runners-up and finished third in 2014. Qatar was making its debut in a tournament of this level.
Louis Van Gaal’s side topped the group with seven points. They will clash with the United States, who narrowly beat Iran at the end of the day and finished second in Group B.
Senegal, who beat Ecuador 2-1 in their other Group A game, moved up to second place out of six and will face England.
Ecuador ended the tournament with four goals and Qatar failed to score.
Al Bayt Stadium, which hosted the opening match between Qatar and Ecuador, was nearly packed, with small groups of orange-clad Dutch fans in the stands. At one point during the second half, Qatari fans unfurled a Palestinian flag that read “Free Palestine”.
Gakpo received the ball outside the box, dribbled and fired a powerful lateral shot that slipped between two defenders and hit the right post of the Qatari goal on 26 minutes.
Gekpo became the fourth Dutch player to score in three consecutive World Cups after Johan Nieskens (1974), Dennis Bergkamp (1994) and Wesley Sneijder (2010). In addition, he is the second footballer since Alessandro Altobelli with Italy in 1986 to open for his team three times in the same group stage.
De Jong’s goal came after a run in which he had no opponent to finish off the rebound after a shot by Memphis Depay.
Video arbitration canceled out what would have been a third for the Dutch, by Steven Barguis, for a hand.
Although the Netherlands dominated possession and created several more chances, Qatar had their moments of pressure and even nerved goalkeeper Andries Knoppert, who had trouble saving Ismail Mohamed’s long shot after Gakpo’s goal.