National coach Andries Jonger’s team finished second in the draw and were classified in Group E alongside the four-time world champions, meaning Dutch footballers play all their group matches in New Zealand.
The Netherlands against the USA would mean a repeat of the 2019 World Cup final. Later, ‘Leevinen’ lost 2-0 to American football players. The teams also met in the quarterfinals of last year’s Olympics. Then the Netherlands, led by national coach Sarina Wiekman, lost on penalties to the world number one in Yokohama.
From pot three, the opponent was Vietnam, who were making their World Cup debut. It is not yet known which country will complete the group from pot four. Thailand’s winner against Cameroon will face Portugal ahead of the World Cup. The winner can join the Netherlands, USA and Vietnam.
The World Cup begins on July 20 in Auckland, with the finals in Sydney on August 20. Group A, C, E and G matches will be held in Auckland, Dunedin, Wellington and Hamilton in New Zealand. In Australia, competitions are held in B, D, F and H divisions in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
The Dutch footballers struggled a bit to qualify for their third World Cup in a row. After last summer’s European Championship disappointment in England, which saw the defending champions Orange crash out in the quarter-finals, the KNVB decided to sack national coach Mark Parsons.
With his successor Jonker on the bench, the Orange won the last qualifier against Iceland 1–0 in injury time. As a result, the ‘Lions’ avoided the play-offs and qualified for the 2023 World Cup as group winners.
Jonker was in the draw in Auckland. The National Coach attends several seminars on all organizational aspects of the World Cup. In the coming days, Jonger will work with the team manager to look for suitable training facilities and hotels. In the coming month, participating countries will have to register their preferences. Jonker will return to the Netherlands next weekend.
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