Edgy Holland qualify for 2022 Fifa World Cup
The Netherlands forwards Steven Bergwijn and Memphis Depay struck late to send their country into the 2022 World Cup with a 2-0 home victory over Norway on Tuesday as Group G winners.
Bergwijn hammered home a right-foot shot in the 84th minute that flew into the net to the relief of the home side and Depay made sure of the points as he clinically finished a breakaway after being set up by Bergwijn deep in stoppage time.
The Dutch will return to the finals, hosted by Qatar, after missing out on the 2018 tournament in Russia but with little conviction after limping through their last two qualifiers.
They had been eight minutes from securing early qualification on Saturday before giving up two goals to draw in Montenegro but Tuesday’s victory in an empty stadium due to Covid-19 restrictions was enough to top the group.
The Netherlands finished with 23 points from 10 games, two more than Turkey, who won 2-1 away to Montenegro to secure a playoff spot. Norway missed out by ending third with 18 points.
The Dutch dominated possession and had several half chances with Depay their most enterprising player.
But they also played with an edgy approach, eager to avoid mistakes that would allow Norway to snatch the game away.
“I think we had the game under control for the entire 90 minutes. The players executed our plans perfectly,” said coach Louis van Gaal.
Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe were on target again in a sharp second-half performance as France completed their qualifying campaign with a 2-0 away win against Finland.
The French attack stuttered until Benzema came on as a second-half substitute and Mbappe set him up for the opener.
Other Key Results:
Wales 1 Belgium1
Czech Republic 2 Estonia 0
Montenegro 1 Turkey 2
France 2 Finland 1