Netherlands book place at 2022 World Cup with victory over Norway – MARCA.com

Netherlands book place at 2022 World Cup with victory over Norway – MARCA.com

Netherlands book place at 2022 World Cup with victory over Norway – MARCA.com

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En/world-cup
Late goals for Bergwijn and Memphis see the Dutch top the group
The Netherlands had to wait until late in their game against Norway to find a breakthrough, but in the end they secured qualification for the 2022 World Cup with a 2-0 victory in Rotterdam on Tuesday night.
The game took place behind closed doors at De Kuip due to a rise in COVID-19 cases in the country. With no fans to cheer the home team on, Norway failed to capitalise as they were toothless in attack and visibly missed talisman Erling Haaland, who is injured.
Contrastingly, the Netherlands took the initiative and produced some fine football in the first 45 minutes, with the most promising attacks coming via Barcelona’s Memphis Depay and Villarreal’s Arnaut Danjuma. However, for their four shots on goal in the first half, they could not find a breakthrough.
After the break, the Netherlands took hold of the game and dominated possession once more. Their well-drilled nature and calmness with the ball at feet would have comforted their wheelchair-bound manager, Louis van Gaal.
Arsenal playmaker and Norway captain Martin Odegaard cut a frustrated figure in midfield as he was unable to impact the game and find a creative outlet against a strong Dutch midfield consisting of Georginio Wijnaldum, Frenkie de Jong and Davy Klaassen.
The centre-back pairing of Virgil van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt would have been content with their steady evening, as Dutch joy spelt Norwegian frustration.
Steven Bergwijn then gave the Netherlands the lead in the 84th minute after finding space inside the box and finishing well into the top right corner. Danjuma topped off his solid performance with the assist.
Then, as Norway pushed for an equaliser in stoppage time, they were found outnumbered after Van Dijk‘s clearing header found goalscorer Bergwijn, who then squared the ball to Memphis Depay to score into an empty net, securing the Netherlands‘ progression as group leaders.
Had there have been fans in attendance at De Kuip, their apprehension at the news of Turkey going 2-1 up against Montenegro and meaning that Netherlands could not risk anything less than a draw may have influenced their attitude on the pitch.
However, without this nervous energy, they were able to keep their cool and play expressive and controlled football. Norway lacked urgency throughout all of the game, and it seems they only realised what was at stake when going up for the corner in their numbers at the death of the game.
Haaland will be left annoyed at the lack of desire shown by Norway against the Netherlands, and in turn the rest of the footballing world will too be left somewhat bitter at the realisation that one of world football’s most exciting talents will not be in Qatar next winter.
© Unidad Editorial Información Deportiva, S.L.U. Todos los derechos reservados.
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