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FIFA WC: Undefeated Netherlands storm into round of 16 after 2-0 win over Qatar
Al Khor: Strikes from Cody Gakpo and Frenkie de Jong sent the Netherlands to the round of 16 and to the top of their Group A table after a 2-0 win over hosts Qatar at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in the Al Bayt Stadium on Tuesday.
The Hosts Qatar registered their third straight loss, thereby bowing o Dutch finished the group at the top with seven points after two wins and a draw.ut of the tournament without logging a single point.
Going into the match as the favourites, the Netherlands got off to a great start as they made inroads into the Qatar defence.
In the fourth minute of the match, Memphis Depay took a brilliant aim at the goal but his shot was blocked by Meshaal Barsham. Louis Van Gaal's men made their attacking intentions clear with their early attempts at goal.
The Dutch continued to enjoy possession but the hosts, already eliminated from the tournament, could not get their feet on the ball.
However, despite the Dutch forays into the Qatar box, the first 20 minutes of the match at Al Bayt Stadium remained goalless.
Star forward Cody Gakpo fired the Dutch into the lead after rifling a pass from Davy Klaassen into the bottom right corner. In the 26th minute, the scoreline read 1-0 in favour of LVG's men.
The flying Dutchman became the first Netherlands player to score in each of his first 3 matches at the showpiece football event.
Marten de Roon also took a shot at the Qatar post but his volley went over the bar in the 41st minute.
At half-time, the scoreline read 1-0 in favour of the Netherlands.
The Dutch continued their dominance in the match in the second half, with Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong netting one in the 49th minute to double the lead.
While Qatar had more ball possession in the second half, the Dutch were in no mood to let their foot off the pedal.
In the 62nd minute, Qatar introduced Al Haydos, Madibo and Ali as substitutes for Boudiaf, Muntari and Ali Asad. The Netherlands, too, made some changes, with Klassen and Depay coming off for Berghuis Waste and Janssen, with half-an-hour left in the game.
Steven Berghuis tapped home for Dutch to make it 3-0 for his side, but a video review spotted a handball by Cody about 30 seconds before the ball went in and his 68th-minute strike was ruled out as a goal.
However, there was no twist in the tale as the Netherlands coasted to a win, with the scoreline at the final whistle reading 2-0 in favour of the Dutch. (ANI)