World Cup Summary: Dutch delight for Van Gaal, Wales play-offs but Haaland and Norway lose to Qatar

Twenty years after Ireland denied their Dutch team a place in the World Cup final, Louis van Gaal has succeeded and guided the Dutch to the final in Qatar 2022, thanks in large part to Tottenham man Steven Bergwijn.

the World Cup continues without one of the most exciting new talents in Europe: there is no room for Norway or Erling Haaland after the 2-0 defeat to the Dutch, a goal at the end of Bergwijn and a second, assisted by Bergwijn and finished by Memphis Depay, while the clouds of clouds gather over stuttering coaches like Portuguese coach Fernando Santos.

Last night, supervised from the bench by a Van Gaal who was in a wheelchair after a recent accident, the Netherlands was automatically classified, joining Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Serbia, Spain and Switzerland as automatic classifieds. Europe.

Italy, Northern Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland and Sweden had already secured a play-off as group runners-up. Last night they were joined by Turkey and Ukraine, without joy for Norway or Finland, the play-offs that will take place in March, as a semifinal and final.

And Wales ’1-1 draw at home to group Belgium winners means the Welsh are ranked runners-up, so the Czech Republic, third, use the League of Nations safety net available for that group’s playoffs. Wales are now headlining with local advantage for their play-off semi-final.

Presence in the playoffs carries a wide range of emotions. Some are happy to be involved (Turkey, Ukraine, Scotland, Northern Macedonia, even Sweden), some are very, very lucky to be there, mostly Austria who finished fourth (yes, fourth) in their group, but win a play. depending on their form in the League of Nations.

Some nations are not at all happy with how things ended, like Russia, the second best surpassed by Croatia. Roberto Mancini’s arrogance and his love for his smell are legendary things, so the Italy coach is forced to get into the play-offs by grabbing his nose, annoyed to think that the European champions have to settle there.

There is more unhappiness in Poland and Portugal. Both nations are led by a Portuguese (Fernando Santos with Portugal, Paulo Sousa is ahead of the Pole) but the duo will definitely be out of work if they do not guide their teams to Qatar 2022 and while Santos said he “guarantees”. ”Qualifying for the World Cup for his team, through the play-offs, there is no guarantee that he will be in place when they arrive in March.

The Portuguese FA has officially he promised to keep him in office, a vote that could be in the line of a “vote of confidence” from the owner of a Premier League team, who publicly supports his coach on a Tuesday night and says goodbye on Wednesday morning.

“Players consider Santos’ tactics a thing of the past, ”the national sports newspaper reports Engrave, the grumpy voices in the locker room are clearly feeding the media, and many in Portugal have called for the dismissal of Santos, now with Rui Jorge, coach of his brilliant under-21 team (17 wins in the last 18 games). , to be promoted.

His compatriot Sousa is on very unstable ground in Poland, even though he is reaching the playoffs. Second place was guaranteed before their last group match, at home to Hungary on Monday, but playing with a weakened team (Robert Lewandowski was rested, in what is considered an inadvisable favor to Bayern Munich) proved counterproductive when Hungary won by 2 -1 Warsaw and that could cost Poland the status of top seed.

Warsaw fans and media have turned against Sousa and his expensive coaching staff, and the playoff defeat will definitely see him kicked out.

The fact that Austria is still with a scream of qualification will please those in Vienna’s cafes, but it makes us scratch our heads at the rest.. In a rather mediocre group, in addition to the victories over the last two of the Faroe Islands and Moldova, Austria had a victory in the standings, at home to Israel. But, as happened with Ireland and their play-off spot for Euro 2020, the League of Nations rewarded mediocrity.

Despite that poor form in the group, the Austrian FA, probably because they can’t bother to do anything else, or because they realize the team is so bad that no coach could improve them, promised to keep coach Franco Foda at work for the playoffs.

Bosnia ended its worst World Cup campaign last night with a home defeat to Ukraine, an all-night grudge in which star man Miralem Pjanic was removed from the team after social media was flooded with videos and photos of his night of drunkenness. after the bad defeat at home to Finland last week.

Qualifying ended last night but recriminations have already begun.

From the Irish group, Azerbaijan is almost certain to eliminate their Italian coach Gianni di Biasi, Slovakia will fire Stefan Tarkovic and look for his third coach in 13 months, while changes in direction are also expected with Romania (who debuted as senior with 15 years). -Old Enes Sali), Greece and Iceland after qualifying failures.

A World Cup story with a very strong Irish accent if left without legs, unfortunately, as Dubliner Roberto Lopes will not go to Qatar with the Cape Verde Islands.

The Shamrock Rovers man played 90 minutes yesterday for Cape Verde out of Nigeria in Lagos. One win would have been enough for Cape Verde to lead the group. But a nervous 1-1 draw caused the locals to win the group and move on to the next qualifying round. Lopes ’team has to wait for the African Nations Cup finals in January, while Nigeria advance to a play-off.

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