Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Kuntz ends Haaland’s dream of the World Cup
Oranje has to tremble almost to the last second
In a wheelchair, Louis van Gaal has to worry in the stands for a long time before the Netherlands buy their ticket to the World Cup for Qatar against Norway. Stefan Kuntz, who moves into the playoffs with Turkey, can also cheer
With the bond coach Louis van Gaal, injured in the hip, in the stands, the Netherlands have secured the ticket for the soccer World Cup in Qatar – and Stefan Kuntz can still hope to participate in the finals with the Turkish selection. Oranje came on Tuesday after late goals in the decisive group game to a 2-0 (0-0) against Norway in the empty De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam and secured first place in Group G with 23 points. 1 (1: 1) won and ended up with 21 points ahead of Norway (18). The team of the long-time German U21 coach Kuntz is now fighting in the playoffs for one of three other World Cup starting places.
This also applies to Ukraine, which overtook Finland in Group D with a 2-0 (1-0) in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Northern Europeans were defeated at home by the already qualified world champions France 0: 2 (0: 0). In Group E, Wales claimed second place with a 1-1 (1: 1) against sovereign group winners Belgium, ahead of the Czech Republic (2-0 against Estonia), which is one of the best Nations League group winners but also in the overall playoffs Twelve teams take part.
In a wheelchair in the stands, van Gaal watched the action – and from minute to minute his expression became more worried, the calls to the coaching bench increased. The former Bayern coach fell while cycling on Sunday evening after training and broke a bone on his hip.
Fans had to stay at home
So van Gaal could not actively intervene. And Oranje’s performance was not intoxicating, Steven Bergwijn (84th) and Memphis Depay (90th + 1) only calmed down late. In the last game on Saturday in Montenegro (2-2), the Netherlands lost a 2-0 and thus lost their early World Cup ticket. The Elftal also had to forego the support of their atmospheric fans in Rotterdam after the tightened Corona measures in the country. It should be enough anyway. So van Gaal was spared a second disgrace like 2001, when he failed in his first of three terms as bond coach with stars like Ruud van Nistelrooy, Patrick Kluivert or Edgar Davids in the World Cup qualification.
Kuntz’s commitment has already paid off for Turkey. With goals from Kerem Aktürkoglu (22nd) and Orkun Kökcü (60th), the next victory jumped out in Montenegro. Montenegro had taken the lead through Fatos Beqiraj (4th). There have been three wins and one draw for the Turks since the European champions took office in 1996.
In Helsinki, the French superstars Karim Benzema (66th) and Kylian Mbappé (76th) finally dashed the hopes of the Finns to participate in the World Cup. For the French, Bayern defender Dayot Upamecano and Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby were in the starting line-up. The Ukraine benefited from the Schützenhilfe, the EM quarter-finalist won in Bosnia through goals from Oleksander Zinchenko (58th) and Artem Dovbyk (79th).