World Cup: Oranje without keeper Bijlow in “can’t lose” match against Norway
The Dutch national team knows where it stands when it kicks off in an empty Kuip stadium at 8:45 p.m. for the decisive game against Norway in the World Cup qualifier. A draw is enough for a ticket to the World Cup at the end of next year in Qatar, unless Turkey wins by 14 goals difference against Montenegro.
Louis van Gaal sits on the couch with a broken hip after a fall on his bike on Sunday. The 70-year-old national coach does not want to abandon his team, he said emotionally. "Every movement hurts. That's why I'm in a wheelchair. But the guys and the staff want me to stay. So I have to stay."
Suppose the Netherlands loses to the Norwegians and Turkey wins against Montenegro. In that case, Van Gaal will go down in history as the national coach who was twice unable to lead the national team to a World Cup. But the Amsterdammer has every confidence in a good outcome. "Because we are better than Norway," he said.
Van Gaal still has to decide on who will defend the Dutch goal against the Norwegians. First choice Justin Bijlow dropped out late Monday night. According to the KNVB, the Feyenoord keeper is not fit enough. Van Gaal added Tim Krul (Norwich City) to his roster. Mark Flek (SC Freiburg) and Jasper Cillessen (Valencia) are the other goalkeepers in the selection.
Matthijs de Ligt will most likely replace the injured Stefan de Vrij at Oranje. Norway is missing the injured top scorer and star player Erling Haaland.
Reporting by ANP