Football

Holland vs. Qatar – Football match report – November 29, 2022

Cody Gakpo scored his third goal in three games as the Netherlands comfortably beat World Cup hosts Qatar 2-0 at Al Bayt Stadium on Tuesday to clinch first place in Group A and advance to the knockout stages.

The Dutch, who finished with seven points from their three group games, will be joined in the round of 16 by Senegal, who eliminated Ecuador with a 2-1 win to finish second on six points.

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The Qataris had been knocked out after their 3-1 loss to Senegal, and despite heavy investment in state-of-the-art facilities to host the World Cup, they fell short again on the pitch.

They were not exempt from moments in a boring first half, forcing a couple of corners and threatening on the edge of the Dutch box, but they barely bared their teeth when Gakpo hit them with a great goal to the guts.

Davy Klaassen blasted an attractive ball the 23-year-old’s path and received it with speed, cutting through the heart of the defense before sending a well-placed shot past Meshaal Bersham to open the scoring on 26 minutes.

The goal was Gakpo’s third in three games having scored in every group game.

“Things can change, of course, but Cody Gakpo has everything it takes to become a star, plus he has a wonderful personality to become a star player because he’s open-minded to everything,” the coach said afterward. Holland, Louis van Gaal.

Four minutes into the second half, the Dutch scored again when Klaassen’s cross found its way to Depay and the Qatari defense was caught looking at the ball while parrying his shot, allowing Frenkie de Jong to slot it into the net.

With Qatar lacking the quality to mount a comeback, the Dutch had a goal disallowed after Gakpo was deemed to have handled the ball in the build-up, but they still went on to win.

The final whistle marked the beginning of the short wait for the Dutch to find out which of the Group B teams (England, Wales, Iran or USA) they will face in the round of 16.

However, Van Gaal had to face criticism for his team’s performance from some members of the Dutch media after the match.

“I think people will be proud that we are making progress,” he replied. “You’re always the one asking these questions, I think things aren’t as bad as you say.”

Asian champions Qatar will return to the role of tournament hosts and chart the future of the game in their country after posting the worst record of any host nation in World Cup history.

“We are a country of 6,000 licensed soccer players,” said Qatar coach Félix Sánchez. “We have played hard games, in the first game we did not reach our level, but our conclusions are realistic. You can use statistics, but we will use our own evaluation.”

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