Orange almost certain of Final Four after victory in Poland, Koopmeiners and Depay injuries temper happiness | Orange


Sjoerd Mossou

Sep 22. 2022

Laughing, the Dutch players waved to the box with Orange fans, shortly afterwards, at the very top of the imposing Narodowy stadium in Warsaw. The well deserved 0-2 win means that the Orange is almost certain of a win in its Nations League group, with only next Sunday’s game against Belgium.

The game also gave cause for good humor, but the game was not cheerful in all respects. After just one minute, Teun Koopmeiners had to leave the field with a stretcher with a nasty head injury. And after the break, striker Memphis Depay stepped off the field, shaking his head, after he stumbled in an otherwise innocent duel.

From left to right: Marten de Roon, Cody Gakpo, Virgil van Dijk and Daley Blind. © REUTERS

The Barcelona attacker had emphatically looked forward to two full games with the Orange, after a few difficult months in Nou Camp with few minutes of play. But Memphis promptly got injured: apparently a muscle injury, possibly due to his lack of game rhythm.

National coach Louis van Gaal has seen two players injured in the international match against Poland. Already in the opening minutes, midfielder Teun Koopmeiners had to leave the field on a stretcher. Early in the second half, Memphis Depay also dropped out, with an injury to his thigh. Read more here!

The match itself did offer some fun at times, also with a view to the approaching World Cup in Qatar. The opening goal was even of rare beauty after twelve minutes. In a gossamer, artful pattern of no fewer than 21 consecutive passes, the Netherlands played all the way to the Polish goal, from left all the way to right, with the final piece-in-gear as the absolute highlight.



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Denzel Dumfries set up the combination himself with a powerful running action, first out and then smartly inside. Via Steven Berghuis and a lovely ball from Memphis Depay, the right back reached the back line, after which Cody Gakpo only had to tap in: 1-0.

On the sidelines, Van Gaal clapped exuberantly for so much movement and ingenuity. A goal that represents exactly what the national coach intends with his playing style towards the World Cup, once called ‘1-3-4-1-2’ by himself. A system in which spaces must constantly be created for running actions, both from the midfield and over the wings.

Comments
– National coach Van Gaal
– Van Dijk and Berghuis

Nevertheless, the Orange made too little use of it after that opening goal. Home team Poland offered plenty of room and opportunity, the Netherlands was the boss on the field, but too often the game ended in sloppiness.

Conversely, the debuting keeper Remko Pasveer had little to worry about. Defensively, the Orange did not or hardly run into problems, leading to ‘zero’ for the first time in ages.

Report marks
As always after an international match for the Dutch national team, we put the internationals against the yardstick. Check here the report figures of the duel in Poland.

The defense is also becoming more and more solid. For his three-man defense, Van Gaal has made his choices for the time being: Nathan Aké, Virgil van Dijk and Jurriën Timber were again preferred over Stefan de Vrij and Matthijs de Ligt, among others. On Sunday against Belgium, Van Gaal will undoubtedly change players, but for now the competition is over.

The interpretation of the midfield is still somewhat open towards Qatar. In Warsaw, Koopmeiners got the chance on the right, as a reward for an excellent season with Atalanta Bergamo. But after just one minute, the midfielder had to be sidelined after a hard collision with opponent Karol Linetty around the halfway line.

Memphis Depay is injured on the ground. © Pro Shots / Erik Pasman

The shock about that blow was palpable in the Polish stadium, especially when Koopmeiners lay completely still in the grass for a long time. Under applause, the midfielder was carried off the field on a stretcher, replaced by Steven Berghuis.

The Ajax midfielder played excellently in that role, being involved in almost every attack by Orange. After the break, Marten de Roon also got playing minutes as a replacement for Frenkie de Jong, for the time being the only truly undisputed midfielder in the intended World Cup team. That did not immediately change the general game, the Orange remained the dominant team, although substitute Arek Milik did get a huge chance after 52 minutes.

Jurriën Timber (l) in duel with Arek Milik.
Jurriën Timber (l) in duel with Arek Milik. © REUTERS

After an hour, the game on the other side was decided. From another good attacking plan, substitute Vincent Janssen was reached deep in the penalty area by Steven Bergwijn. The Antwerp striker put the ball down perfectly for the continued Ajax player, who scored flawlessly: 2-0.

The Orange squad played out the match well, with Ajax player Kenneth Taylor making his debut in the final phase in addition to 38-year-old Pasveer. The Netherlands effortlessly maintained its dominance, but did not score anymore.

Louis van Gaal gives Kenneth Taylor a pat on the head just before his debut in Orange.
Louis van Gaal gives Kenneth Taylor a pat on the head just before his debut in Orange. © ANP

View the goals below.


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Steven Bergwijn (r) after the 0-2.
Steven Bergwijn (r) after the 0-2. © Pro Shots / Erik Pasman


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Remko Pasveer also made his debut for the Dutch national team.
Remko Pasveer also made his debut for the Dutch national team. © ANP

Want to relive the match? Read our live blog below:



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The article is in Dutch

Tags: Orange Final victory Poland Koopmeiners Depay injuries temper happiness Orange

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