The Netherlands beat Qatar 2-0 to advance to the last 16
The Netherlands ended the worst performance by any World Cup host nation by beating Qatar 2-0 on Tuesday.
The Dutch advanced to the last 16 while the Qataris, already eliminated, became the first hosts to lose all three of their group stage matches in football’s biggest event.
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Cody Jacobo put the Netherlands ahead midway through the first half with his third goal in over matches, and Frenkie de Jong doubled the deficit five minutes into the second half.
Holland is a three-time runner-up in the Globalism Cup, and also finished third in 2014, while Qatar was participating for the first time in the tournament.
The Dutch failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
The Netherlands finished with seven points at the top of the group. Senegal, who beat Ecuador 2-1 in the other group match, advanced into second place with six points. Ecuador was eliminated with four points and Qatar finished with zero.
The attendance at Al Bayt Stadium, which hosted Qatar’s loss to Ecuador in the opening tournament, was 66,784 – almost at full capacity. There were small pockets of orange-clad Dutch fans, Qatar fans behind one of the goals who cheered in unison and jumped up and down.
At one point during the second half, Qatari fans raised a large Palestinian flag with the words “Free Palestine” written on it.
In the 26th minute, Gakpo took control outside the area, dribbled forward and unleashed a powerful side-footed shot between two defenders that went inside the right post.
Jaakbo became the fourth Dutch player to score in three consecutive World Cup matches after Johan Neeskens (1974), Dennis Bergkamp (1994) and Wesley Sneijder (2010). He also became only the second player to open the scoring three times in the same group stage, after Alessandro Altobelli of Italy in 1986.
De Jong’s goal came when he sprinted forward unchallenged to flick the rebound from close range after a shot from Memphis Depay.
A potential third goal for the Netherlands by Steven Berges was disallowed after a video review for a handball in the crowd.
Berghuis then hit the crossbar in extra time.
While the Netherlands dominated possession and created many chances, Qatar went ahead at times and there was a tense moment for the Netherlands when goalkeeper Andres Nobert struggled with Ismail Mohamed’s long-range shot after Jakobo’s goal.
Gakpo tied French star Kylian Mbappé and Ecuadorean veteran Enner Valencia for the tournament’s top scorers.
For club and country in all competitions this season, Gakpo has been involved in 35 goals in 29 matches scoring 17 goals and 18 assists.
That should make the 23-year-old PSV a target for an expensive transfer in the coming months.
In the Round of 16, the Netherlands will face the second-placed team in Group B, which includes England, Iran, the United States and Wales.
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