Steven Begin and Memphis Delay scored late as the Netherlands advanced to next year’s World Cup with a 20 home win over Norway on Tuesday to win Group G. The result means the Borussia Dortmund star and Norwegian Erlang Haaland are losing their chance to participate in his first senior tournament.
Next year. UEFA World Cup qualifiers on ESPN +: live streams of matches and reruns (U only) Who’s there? Who went out ? How every European nation reached the World Cup final The Dutch return to the final after losing the 2018 tournament in Russia, but with little conviction after limping through the last two qualifiers. It was eight minutes of early qualifying on Saturday before allowing two goals to tie Montenegro, but Tuesday’s victory in an empty stadium due to COVID-19 restrictions was enough to overtake the field. 23 points in 10 games, two more than Turkey, who won 21 outside Montenegro to secure a place in the playoffs.
Norway finished third in the group with 18 points. Bergwijn hammered a right-footed shot in the 84th minute that flew to the back of the net, much to the relief of the home side. Delay got the result when he closed a breakaway after being established by Bergwijn in the depths of added time. It was Delay’s 12th goal of the season, tying him with England captain Harry Kane in the European qualifying scorecard. The Dutchman dominated possession and had several half chances with Delay, their most enterprising player. But they also played with a forward-thinking approach, keen to avoid mistakes that would have allowed Norway to snatch the game. But they have not yet succeeded in pulling the slightest effort on the target.
The absence of supporters did not help the national cause. The match was played behind closed doors in De Quip after the Dutch government this weekend banned spectators from major sporting events for the next three weeks in a bid to contain a rapid wave of COVID-19 cases. Netherlands coach Louis van Goal was also absent from the bench. He fractured his hip falling from his bike last Sunday and sat in a wheelchair in the VIP area at the top of the stands, communicating by cell phone with his assistants on the bench.