Oranje stunned with Montenegro draw; Additional point needed in World Cup qualifiers
Before the match of Oranje against Montengeo, head coach of the Dutch football team Louis van Gaal waved cheerfully to the crowd. After a 2-2 draw, the 70-year-old national coach shuffled off the field.
Van Gaal took the blame for the bad performance. "It is my fault. I switched players and the switches were not good," he told NOS after the game. "De Vrij was injured and Wijnaldum and Danjuma were not longer fit and Frenkie de Jong also asked for a substitution," Van Gaal said. The coach said it was improbable that De Vrij would play in the game against Norway.
"In principle, it can't go wrong anymore," Van Gaal said before the game. Oranje scored a 0-2 lead after 54 minutes thanks to Memphis Depay's tenth and eleventh goal in the World Cup qualifiers. The Dutch national team was on the threshold to the World Cup in Qatar until Montenegro gained ground in the final phase.
Ilija Vukotic landed the first goal for Montenegro in the 82nd minute. Follow Nikola Vujnovic landed the equalized point four minutes later.
Dutch team captain Virgil van Dijk made no effort to mask his anger and disappointment. "It's just outrageous how we played the second half," he said.
On Tuesday, Oranje will play against Norway. Should the Dutch football team lose that match, they will lose their chance to get into the play-offs.
"We are still in the best form, but we have to re-evaluate," the national coach said.
Reporting by ANP