Netherlands had to come from behind to earn a 1-1 draw against Norway in a FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier in a passive start to the reign of Louis van Gaal.
Netherlands played out a meek 1-1 draw against a spirited Norway side on Wednesday evening, Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, after a flurry of early chances, put Norway ahead before Davy Klaassen levelled 16 minutes later to net the Oranje a share of spoils in an unruly Group G fixture at the Ullevaal Stadium.
Norway appeared to have overpowered the Dutch early in the first half and had the better chances before eventually Erling Haaland scored in the 20th minute. Steven Berghuis and Georginio Wijnaldum were then the architects of the leveller as Davy Klaassen scored for Netherlands to bring the game back on level terms.
The goal was a little fortunate but it ended Netherlands’ worst spell of the game and after that point the Dutch became better as the game went on. The visitors could have even scored the winner with the final kick of the game, but Denzel Dumfries’ shot lacked force, and Norway goalkeeper Andre Hansen did enough to parry the ball out.
The result leaves Netherlands in second place with seven points from four games in Group G standings behind Turkey. Here’s how Dutch players were rated after their 1-1 World Cup qualifier draw against Norway.
Justin Bijlow: 7/10
The Feyenoord goalkeeper had a solid debut and denied Haaland a couple of times, making a brilliant save. He looked nervous with his distribution at times but it was nonetheless a strong showing, especially in the first half.
Jurrien Timber: 5.5/10
Timber was deployed as a right-back and needs to provide an outlet on the right flank going forward. However, it was a clumsy performance from the 20-year-old, who gave away possession far too easily and made a few mistakes at the back.
Stefan de Vrij: 6.5/10
Stefan de Vrij is a fantastic centre-back, and his partnership with Virgil van Dijk has a great potential. However, Haaland gave de Vrij a lot of trouble on the day. It wasn’t because of de Vrij’s shortcomings, but because of the brilliance of the Borussia Dortmund striker.
Virgil van Dijk: 7.5/10
Felt good to lead the boys out there again but we have loads of things to work on. We need 2 big results now for the remaining games. First up in Eindhoven on Saturday, see you all there!🦁🧡 pic.twitter.com/M3mD7R9dYV
— Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) September 1, 2021
The Netherlands captain put up a commanding display on his international comeback and had an overall solid game. Haaland gave him a few scares, but van Dijk was largely dominant and kept the striker at bay. He was very strong in aerial battles and rarely lost any; van Dijk also lobbed in with 12 accurate long balls.
Daley Blind: 5.5/10
Blind had a poor game by all means, struggling to impose himself at the back and producing nothing in offensive play. Also picked up a silly booking which means he will be suspended for the upcoming game against Montenegro.
Frenkie de Jong: 6.5/10
Frenkie de Jong as usual was the orchestrator for Netherlands during their offensive play, seeing a lot of the ball. We witnessed flashes of his tremendous talent, but he was not pushing up the field which reduced his output. To make more of an impact, he needs to be a little higher up the pitch.
Davy Klaassen: 7.5/10
Klaassen scored the all-important goal that earned his nation a point on his 25th Oranje cap. An excellent all-round performance complete with 3 tackles, 3 shots, 2 key passes. Got into dangerous scoring positions and arriving late in the box is slowly becoming his trait.
Davy Klaassen in his first 19 caps for the Netherlands:
◉ 4 goals
◉ 1 assist
…in his last six caps for his country:
◉ 2 goals
◉ 2 assists
Much improved. 😏 pic.twitter.com/12MIwSLJgl
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 1, 2021
Georginio Wijnaldum: 6.5/10
Wijnaldum served the ball up on the plate for Klaassen’s equalizer. The Paris Saint-Germain ace retrieved the ball a fair few times in the opponent’s area, which initialized the turnovers. He was also flashy at times with his dribbles.
Steven Berghuis: 5/10
Berghuis played a nice reverse pass through the legs of Birger Meling in the build-up to the goal that Klaassen scored. Other than that, he struggled in the first half and was hooked off at the break by Louis van Gaal.
Cody Gakpo: 5.5/10
The PSV Eindhoven winger was threatening on the left flank and created several opportunities. After the interval, he fell by the wayside and was among those at fault as Norway took the lead.
Memphis Depay: 6/10
It was not the finest of performances from Depay, and he has to get involved in the more crucial moments. However, he was a sticking point in a few of the counter-attacks. A rare blip.
Donyell Malen: 5/10
Came in at half-time to replace Berghuis but did not contribute much to the attacks; only had one shot and that was off target, received a yellow card as well.
Denzel Dumfries: N/A
Dumfries had a very late chance to win it for Netherlands, but he could not generate enough power behind his strike.