Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands scored once in each half to ease to victory over the hosts and claim top spot in Group A of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Qatar began brightly enough, Hassan Al Haydos getting hold of a shot from distance but directing the effort straight down the throat of Andries Noppert. The Dutch goalkeeper would be troubled only once more, Ismaeel Mohammad’s swerving attempt awkwardly fielded by Noppert.
The Netherlands had taken the lead by that stage. Memphis Depay was relatively close with an improvised volley over the top on the quarter-hour. But Cody Gakpo’s radar was spot on when the 23-year-old collected Davy Klaassen’s clever pass to dribble into the box and slide his finish into the bottom corner for a third goal in three World Cup games.
Meshaal Barsham saved brilliantly at close quarters from Depay soon after the restart – but the Qatari defenders were slow to react, unlike the wide awake Frenkie de Jong who placed the rebound into an unguarded net.
Steven Berghuis had a goal chalked off for handball against Gakpo earlier in the move and Berghuis clattered the woodwork in time added on. Coach Van Gaal’s team had long won the game, however, and the Dutch will discover their last-16 opponents when Group B concludes later on Tuesday.
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