It’s still not bright, but the Dutch national team has qualified for the knockout stage of the World Cup in Qatar. Last night, goals from Cody Kakpo and Frankie de Jong saw the hosts thrash 2-0. Earlier, the Netherlands team drew against Ecuador (1-1) and won against Senegal (2-0).
So the Netherlands won Group A in the controversial Winter World Cup. Better in terms of results, but not in terms of entertainment. The Orange Lion never roars. The game was sticky, the Netherlands did not create any chances and national coach Louis van Gaal’s substitution policy was also criticized.
The newspapers were not kind to the Dutch national team either. The Orange continue, but all the frivolity seems to have been squeezed out of the team, headlines Trouw this morning. Algemeen Tagblad writes: Cody Kakpo is the only player who can truly shine for this still faded Orange. T Telegraph is even more difficult in an analysis: The World Cup game is a travesty of Dutch football, says Valentijn Driessen. And de Volkskrant thinks there’s little to enjoy: Dutch National Team with Matter of Orange entertainment.
So next Saturday’s round of 8 against the USA will make it even better. The players see it too. Captain Virgil van Dijk tells NOS that he has high hopes after the win against Qatar, but “definitely it will be better”. National coach Van Gaal is happy with the team’s success but also sees that not all players are in perfect condition.
The first part of Van Gaal’s mission to become world champion was successful: reaching the group stage. Now the real work begins. To begin with, against the United States. “I haven’t seen them yet, only briefly. Then you don’t have a good picture. But they finished second, and then they are undoubtedly lower than number one,” Van Gaal told NOS last night. He knew Orange had to work. “America is more aggressive and sharper on the ball.”
We asked how you see this. A majority of voters (85 percent) do not believe this and think Orange will find its Waterloo against the United States. And confidence is 15 percent. They think we can go further with this team.
“Coffee fanatic. Friendly zombie aficionado. Devoted pop culture practitioner. Evil travel advocate. Typical organizer.”