The Dutch team definitely didn‘t play a big game in the Johan Cruijff Arena, but Louis van Gaal’s team managed to beat Belgium. It ended up being 1-0, assuring the Orange a spot in the Final Four in the Nations League.
For the Netherlands, the meeting with Belgium was the last game in the run-up to the World Cup in Qatar. For the Orange, the task was clear: the home team was not allowed to lose more than 2-0 to reach the Final Four. However, this had to happen without strong holders Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay, who dropped out injured. On the contrary, Belgium needed goals and also started the game better.
The first chance was for the visitors, but Remko Pasveer managed to prevent a hit. After that, the game went up and down and sloppy mistakes were made on both sides. In the meantime, Van Gaal had to face another setback: Steven Berghuis was injured, after having to go to the side against Poland earlier. Cody Gakpo entered the field as a result.
In the end, the glasses stand were still on the scoreboard at rest. Van Gaal was clearly not satisfied with the game and decided to intervene: he pulled Nathan Aké and Vincent Janssen to the side, bringing Tyrell Malacia (as left center defender) and Kenneth Taylor in line. Relatively little happened in the first part of the second half, but in the last twenty minutes of the game, the spectacle increased.
For example, Belgium and the Netherlands both got a good chance, after which the opening goal fell. From a corner, Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk convincingly headed the ball against the ropes: 1-0. Not much later, Steven Bergwijn got a good shot on the 2-0. After that, Belgium went full on the offensive. The team became dangerous a number of times, but the Orange still got the best chances. However, there was no more scoring in Amsterdam.
So the Orange narrowly wins against Belgium and therefore goes to the Nations League Final Four. The Netherlands is the first country to qualify for that phase of the tournament twice. Another nice bonus: the mini tournament will also be organized in the Netherlands. First, however, the Dutch team focuses on the World Cup: the next game in the Netherlands is already before the final tournament in Qatar.