Soccer World Cup in Qatar
Van Gaal after dull win: “Here to be world champion”
The political sign from title contenders Netherlands did not come, the sporting one came late. Bonds coach van Gaal is still satisfied and remains undefeated in his third term.
Louis van Gaal actually only wanted to talk about football, but then the annoyed Bonds coach was caught up again by the day-long topic of the symbolic captain’s armband.
“We don’t wear the armband when we get a yellow card. We’re here to become world champions,” said the Bond coach after the lackluster 2-0 (0-0) at the start of the World Cup against African champions Senegal and criticized the world association: “One thing is clear. We have to ask if it’s a correct act on the part of FIFA.”
The sporting sign of the Elftal was a long time coming
In view of the dispute over the “One Love” bandage, the sporty aspect had receded into the background. Together with other European countries, Holland actually wanted to give a political signal with regard to the questionable human rights situation in host country Qatar, but FIFA stopped the action by threatening sanctions. Oranje captain Virgil van Dijk, according to the guidelines, wore a yellow armband and read “No Discrimination”. “It’s totally ridiculous to threaten a penalty because of a bracelet. I don’t understand it,” said Liverpool’s star defender.
The political sign of the Elftal did not materialize, the sporting one was a long time coming. Cody Gakpo (84th) and ex-Bremen Davy Klaassen (90th + 9) saved – also due to a goalkeeper error by Edouard Mendy – with their late goals the start of the World Cup for the self-proclaimed title contender. However, Oranje was not yet able to radiate world championship glory, which van Gaal did not care about. “It was a difficult game, but we were effective and in the end fitter than our opponents,” analyzed the 71-year-old.
Offensively it was a tired performance
Holland remains unbeaten in the third term under van Gaal. In the end, the first World Cup trophy should finally stand for Oranje. In 2014, under van Gaal, the dream was shattered in the semifinals. Until then, however, there is still a lot to do. Offensively it was a tired performance by the favorites. Defensively, van Dijk and Co., on the other hand, did not allow much. But finally, the injured Bayern star striker Sadio Mané was sorely missed in Senegal.
And if a ball came on goal, keeper Andries Noppert was there. The goalkeeper made his debut in the Dutch goal at the age of 28. The SC Heerenveen man is a late starter, even in the league. But van Gaal liked him: “He has an open personality and is very direct.”
Meanwhile, the Senegalese received object lessons in efficiency. If they don’t get their final weakness against Qatar or Ecuador under control, the tournament will quickly be over for the African champions. In any case, it wasn’t because of their fans. For 90 minutes, Teranga’s lions were drummed forward.
After Mané, the guests were spared the second World Cup failure before the start of the tournament. Shortly before the game, Ismail Jakobs, who was born in Cologne, received permission to play from FIFA. The full-back, who had become European champion with the German U21 in 2021, had adopted his father’s nationality. Jakobs came into play in the second half. But two more injuries to Leipzig’s Abdou Diallo and Cheikhou Kouyaté are worrying national coach Aliou Cissé.