From BZ/dpa

    The Netherlands have also successfully mastered their tenth group stage at a World Cup, while Qatar is the weakest host in World Cup history.

    In the final group game, the Oranje selection with former Bayern coach Louis van Gaal came to a lackluster and unspectacular 2-0 (1-0) on Tuesday in front of 66,784 spectators and ended the preliminary round with seven points. In the round of 16 on Friday it is against England, the USA, Iran or Wales.

    World Cup hosts Qatar, whose end was already certain before kick-off, lost their third group game after losing 2-0 to Ecuador and 3-1 to Senegal and bowed out without a point in their first World Cup appearance. The team entered the tournament as the Asian champions.

    The state had invested a lot of money in building the team since the World Cup was awarded twelve years ago. Prior to Qatar, only South Africa were eliminated as hosts in the group stage in 2010. The “Bafana bafana” had landed at least one victory and scored four points.

    Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven scored the 1-0 for the Netherlands for the third time in the third game (26th minute). Only the Italian Alessandro Altobelli had previously managed to do this in 1986. Frenkie de Jong (49th) followed up after the break.

    Van Gaal had brought the two Barcelona stars Memphis Depay and de Jong. Depay had come into the tournament ailing, fighting his way through 30-minute appearances against Senegal and 45 minutes against Ecuador. This time he stayed on the pitch until the 66th minute.

    The two Bundesliga professionals Mathijs de Ligt (Bayern Munich) and Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen) sat outside again. While de Ligt was in the starting XI in the first game, Frimpong finished the first round without a match. Mohammed Muntari, who scored the first World Cup goal in the country’s history in a 3-1 draw with Senegal, was absent for Qatar.

    At the beginning, an amazingly lively game developed, in which the hosts did not hide and tried to say goodbye with honor. But it got tough relatively quickly. Although the Dutch controlled the game and had the ball most of the time, they had too little movement in the game and too little creativity. Significant: After the best move to date, de Jong shot teammate Davy Klaassen from 18 meters. Depay’s side kick that followed was nice to look at, but in the end it was useless art because the striker had aimed far too high.

    The icebreaker was once again Gakpo, who held his own against three opponents after a one-two with the ex-Bremer Klaassen. The 23-year-old is the first Dutchman to score in all of his first three World Cup games. The hosts held out bravely even after the change in the Al Bayt stadium, which was not sold out. Nevertheless, the game was quickly decided. A botched header saved Depay from Qatar’s good goalkeeper Barsham Meshaal, but De Jong tipped the rebound into the net. The supposed 3-0 by Steven Berghuis, who came on as a substitute two minutes earlier, was disallowed because of a previous handball by Gakpo. In stoppage time, Berghuis hit the crossbar.

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