Netherlands book 2022 FIFA World Cup berth: Records broken
The Netherlands booked their place in next years FIFA World Cup 2022 event in Qatar with a 2-0 win over Norway in the Qualifiers. The Dutch finished on top of Group G with 23 points from 10 matches to earn an automatic qualification. Meanwhile, third-placed Norway missed out on next year's tournament. Steven Bergwijn and Memphis Depay scored for the Netherlands against Norway.
Why does it matter?
- Notably, this is massive for Netherlands, who missed out on the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
- They had earlier reached the final in 2010 and the semis four years later.
- With Louis van Gaal back as the head coach, the Dutch rode on his experience to progress.
- They will look to go far in next year's event and earn success under LVG.
Notable feats for the Dutch and Van Gaal
As per Opta, the Netherlands have qualified for their 11th FIFA World Cup event. This is their first since the 2014 edition, when they finished third under current manager Van Gaal. Meanwhile, former Manchester United and Bayern Munich boss Van Gaal managed his 50th game for the Dutch national team. He became just the sixth manager to reach this milestone, surpassing Elek Schwartz (49).
Bergwijn and Memphis script these numbers
As per Opta, Bergwijn's goal in the 84th minute was the Netherlands' latest opening goal in a match since September 2007 (90th minute versus Albania). Barcelona forward Memphis has 14 goal involvements eight matches for Netherlands at De Kuip (8 goals, 6 assists). Memphis has scored 38 goals in 75 matches for the Dutch. 17 of these goals have come in 2021 (16 games).
The Flying Dutchmen are back!
The Netherlands netted 33 goals in the WCQ
The Dutch scored a staggering 33 goals in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. They registered the third-highest number of goals scored among European teams after England (39) and Germany (35). They conceded eight goals to achieve a goal difference of +25. Meanwhile, Norway suffered their second defeat in Group G to finish with 18 points behind second-placed Turkey.
Wales earn draw against Belgium
Wales held Belgium 1-1 at home to secure a home World Cup play-off semi-final. Kevin De Bruyne's 20-yard shot put Belgium in front in the 12th minute. In response, Kieffer Moore equalized later in the first half. Wales secured second spot in Group E despite the third-place Czech Republic's win over Estonia.