Tables between Van Gaal and Haaland

Van Gaal begins a new stage at the head of the national team, the third in particular, and he does it without winning but convincing. Only Haaland could be imposed on this selection of the Netherlands that promises to give what it could not under the orders of Frank de Boer in the European Championship.

How could it be otherwise with Van Gaal, the starting eleven had several names that few know. Mainly, Bijlow, Timber and Gakpo, three promising youngsters from the big three of the Eredivisie. The first, from Feyenoord, is 23 years old and with this title he appears as the second goalkeeper for the coach while waiting for Cillessen. The second, the central, although yesterday he was a right back, Ajax starter at 20 years old. The third, from PSV, scored 16 goals last season at 22 years old and has already sounded to leave Eindhoven. Another of the notorious absences was that of De Ligt, who should have accompanied Van Dijk in the center of defense but was suspended for his expulsion against the Czech Republic in the European Championship.

With this team Van Gaal appeared against Haaland’s Norway. Also from Odegaard and Jens Petter Hauge, although these young people were somewhat more discreet than the Dortmund striker.

Haaland promised a spectacular duel against what was, at least before the injury, the best center-back in the world without any discussion. The first time they were measured, it was won by Van Dijk although with the help of the aforementioned Bijlow. Haaland ran into space and Van Dijk could only annoy him into crashing the ball into the goalkeeper. But the second time, Haaland did not miss. He took advantage of a defensive failure by Gakpo, who was walking in his own area after defending a play breaking the offside line, to define in a strange but effective gesture on goal. Van Dijk tried to block it and he did it quickly, but not enough.

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The aggressiveness, more than intensity, Norway could not stop the Dutch dominance, clearly superior throughout the match. The visitors did not lose their forms and their harassment ended up paying off with a play by Wijnaldum that defined Klaassen as the hitter he is expected to be.

However, and although they continued to shake the tree until the last second, Norway withstood all the blows in a display of competitiveness worthy of praise. In fact, after game time, Haaland hit the crosshead after a counter led by Odegaard to put all of Oslo on its feet. Dumfries, for his part, had the clearest of the game on the last play, but finished the worst he could and Hansen took it almost over the line.

The last minutes were a Dutch monologue, but with no other prize than that of a good feeling that will serve to build an aspiring team for everything in Qatar.


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