Oranje has World Cup in sight after another big win over Gibraltar
The Dutch men’s national football team is still a few steps away from participating in next year's World Cup in Qatar. The team, managed by Louis van Gaal, won by a wide margin against Gibraltar, 6-0. In March, the Oranje squad already developed an impressive goal differential with a 0-7 victory away while Frank de Boer was still their manager.
"We entertained the audience with six goals and also played out an incredible number of opportunities. In addition, despite our very offensive tactics, we didn't give anything away," Van Gaal told NOS. It is difficult to set yourself against an opponent like Gibraltar, he continued. "They are very defensive and that is always difficult. But we were able to spend three days preparing for this game, and we gave the players a lot of information. I saw all that again tonight and I congratulated the players. It was a pretty good performance."
Van Gaal kept the core of his team on the field for Monday’s match despite their struggle to beat Latvia (0-1) on Friday in Riga. The national coach again opted for a system with three attackers, and indicated in advance that the difference would have to be made up by players hustling around the pitch.
Reserve captain Georginio Wijnaldum returned to midfield after a suspension, at the expense of Guus Til. After his debut as a substitute three days earlier, Noa Lang started for the first time with the national team. The Club Brugge attacker was allowed to play at the front left because Cody Gakpo was out with a head injury.
Oranje put pressure on Gibraltar from the first moment. The first goal came after 9 minutes. Virgil van Dijk headed in from a corner by Memphis Depay. Depay also delivered the corner Davy Klaassen sent into the net against Latvia, the only goal of that match.
The Dutch national team searched for their openings during the one-sided match on Monday. A nice attack in the 21st minute led to a 2-0 scoreline. Noa Lang and Klaassen did the preparatory work, after which Depay tapped the ball into the goal. Though Depay had just missed a penalty kick, the FC Barcelona attacker able to take another shot from the 11-meter spot, which he fired past the goalkeeper in injury time.
Denzel Dumfries headed in the fourth goal shortly after the intermission to make it 4-0. Substitute Arnaut Danjuma Groeneveld, who was added to the selection on Sunday, distinguished himself with strong play. The Villarreal winger also scored the fifth goal of the match. Donyell Malen, who also came on as a substitute, scored the last goal.
With two games to go, the Netherlands remained two points ahead of Norway. The Norwegians also won on Monday, 2-0 against Montenegro. Turkey, which triumphed at the end of a difficult match against Latvia (1-2), follows 4 points behind the Dutch national team.
On November 13, Oranje will play in Montenegro and Norway will host Latvia. Three days later, the Netherlands and Norway close the qualifying series at De Kuip in Rotterdam.
Reporting by ANP.