A 26th-minute strike from Cody Gakpo gave the Netherlands a 1-0 lead over Qatar at halftime in their last Group A FIFA match on Tuesday as the Dutch sought to book a place in the last 16.
Gakpo raced to the pass and picked out a low shot in the bottom corner, giving the Netherlands the lead in the match with Qatar. They would go on to qualify for the next group phase of the tournament before kick-off.
Qatar broke away again, but that’s it. The NED keeper had almost nothing to do all half, and Qatar could not keep up. It was over in an instant with a lead of 2-0, the Netherlands winning the match with glory.
Hosting the World Cup is a big undertaking. Qatar had successfully bid for it and, at the time, hosted the most expensive event to date when they were knocked out after only two games. However, how the World Cup plays out for them this year in Russia remains to be seen. They’ll leave with nothing to show for it on “the pitch.”
The Netherlands convincingly beat Ecuador in a Group A match that didn’t take much time. They finish group play as the first-place team, having defeated Senegal in the last minute of a World Cup match where they only scored once. They’ve been winning with the help of striker Cody Gakpo and will likely do so again against Argentina in the Last 16 on Saturday.
The Netherlands needlessly gave up two late corners in their own box, which Qatar barely defended. The decision finally cost them a second consecutive victory over the defending champions.