Netherlands secured a place in the round of 16 after finishing top of Group A thanks to a convincing 2-0 win against hosts Qatar at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Cody Gakpo picked up his third goal of the competition after finishing a wonderful move from 20-yards while Frenkie de Jong doubled Oranje’s lead in the second-half.
Louis van Gaal’s side were far from their best against Senegal and Ecuador with back-to-back below-par performances but were impressive in how they controlled the game against Qatar – granted the hosts had nothing to play for in this match. Oranje were brilliant in their pressing as well as creating plenty of chances when attacking with the ball too.
Meanwhile, Senegal will be joining their Group A counterparts in the round of 16 after a dramatic conclusion against Ecuador.
NETHERLANDS – 2
Andries Noppert, 6
Jurrien Timber, 7 – He is keeping Matthijs De Ligt out of the starting XI right now and it is clear to see why. The defender was solid throughout and clearly works well with Van Dijk and Ake at the back
Virgin van Dijk, 7 – Were you watching Van Basten?
Nathan Aké, 6
Denzel Dumfries, 6
Marton de Roon, 6
Frenkie de Jong, 8 – A brilliant all-round midfield performance from the Barcelona man. He did not seem the put a foot wrong when in control of the ball and read the game well to anticipate Depay’s effort being saved to double Oranje’s lead.
Daley Blind, 6
Davy Klaassen, 6 – A better performance than the one we saw against Ecuador. He made a case against Senegal by coming off the bench and scoring to start against Ecuador but was not as sharp then. He still made a couple of errors which led to Qatar counter-attacking which will need to be addressed in the knockout stages. He is a potential weak link.
Cody Gakpo, 8 – Brilliant performance and hardly put a foot wrong. Superb play in the build-up to score his third goal
Memphis Depay, 7 – His first start since September and did not show it at all. It looked like a risk from Van Gaal at first but the positioning play and reading of the game from the Barcelona showed he is ready to start matches once again. Huge plus going into the round of 16.
Others: Steven Berghuis 6, Vincent Janssen 6, Wout Weghorst 5, Teun Koopmeiners 5, Kenneth Taylor 5
QATAR – 0
Meshaal Barsham, 5
Ismaeel Mohammad, 5 – Struggled to find any answer to stop the likes of Blind, Depay and Gakpo running down the left-wing for Oranje. Would have been pleased to see Depay leave the pitch halfway through the second-half.
Pedro Miguel, 5
Boualem Khouki, 6
Abdelkarim Hassan, 6
Homam Ahmed, 6
Hassan Al Haydos, 5
Assim Madibo, 5
Abdulaziz Hatim, 5 – Struggled to offer any real significance for the host nation in the midfield as he was constantly pressed whenever in possession. Hardly saw the ball in the second-half, even when they enjoyed long spells in possession.
Almoes Ali, 4 – Did not offer a lot, if any due to the limited service and Netherlands’ pressing game but when he did it had very little effect. In hindsight, it should have been Muntari starting.
Akram Afif, 5
Others: Mohammed Muntari 5, Karim Boudiaf 5, Ali Assadalla 5
GBeNeFN | Tom Phillips