A late show by Memphis Depay and Steven Bergwijn helped the Netherlands secure a spot in the 2022 FIFA World Cup at the expense of Norway.

It was not easy, but Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands saw off a spirited Norway to guarantee their spot at Qatar’s 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Perhaps as a sign of what was at stake on the night, both sides indulged in a cagey affair with each probing the other’s defences regularly. Netherlands were content at passing the ball among themselves while the Norwegians were keen to keep their defensive shape.

The visitors lacked attacking penetration in the absence of Erling Haaland. Their defence fell apart in the dying minutes as Steven Bergwijn and Memphis Depay both scored within a span of seven minutes. The win enabled the Netherlands to end their qualification campaign as Group G winners, with Turkey securing the runners-up spot.

Norway enjoyed a good campaign but ultimately fell short and finished in the third spot.Β With the campaign now done, all eyes will be on next summer’s tournament. But for now, The Hard Tackle will look at how the Dutch players fared on the night.

Jasper Cillessen: 6/10

The former Barcelona man had little to do on a night where his side dominated possession. With Erling Haaland absent, Norway lacked bite, and it showed. A comfortable night for the 32-year-old who barely broke a sweat.

Denzel Dumfries: 6/10

A rather subdued outing for a player who had to rein in his attacking traits on the night. He did not have much to worry about against a team that was content to keep their defensive shape. A good performance that got the job done on the night. Unfortunately, his standout moment on the night was the yellow card he picked up in the 79th minute.

Matthijs de Ligt: 7/10

The Juventus man was alert when called upon and dealt with the threat effortlessly. He did, however, pick up an unnecessary yellow card for his troubles.

Virgil van Dijk: 7/10

Arguably the world’s best defender, the Liverpool star had precious little to worry about. Virgil van Dijk used his physicality and pace well and is now set to take part in his first major international tournament.

Daley Blind: 7/10

The veteran was a lively presence down the left flank and caused Norway some trouble bombing forward. He also used his in-game intelligence and passing ability to great effect, playing a role as the Netherlands finally broke the deadlock.

Georginio Wijnaldum: 6/10

A controlled and rather unassuming performance by the Paris Saint-Germain star. Wijnaldum was nowhere close to his best nor influential enough to affect the proceedings. While he did see more of the ball after the break, it did little to improve matters.

Frenkie de Jong: 7/10

The Barcelona man ran the show from midfield and was tidy in possession. Frenkie de Jong made a few incisive passes in a game that was crying out for inspiration.

Davy Klaassen: 6/10

The 28-year-old was a solid presence in midfield and was willing to do the heavy running and the dirty work. Klaassen made an excellent pass to Arnaut Danjuma that the Villarreal man failed to convert. Taken off for Marten de Roon in the second half.

Steven Bergwijn: 8/10

The standout player on the night, Bergwijn’s performance will have impressed new Tottenham boss Antonio Conte. He was lively all night but could not make his efforts count until the very end. He broke the deadlock in the 84th minute with a well-taken strike before laying off an assist for Depay to seal the game in stoppage time.

Memphis Depay: 7/10

In the qualifying campaign, Netherlands’ top scorer, Depay, spurned two excellent opportunities to give his side the lead in the first half. He had a rather underwhelming night and was largely anonymous. It suited his team just fine, given that Norway were also in the same boat. He popped up late on to tap in Bergwijn’s pass for his 12th goal of the campaign.

Arnaut Danjuma: 7/10

Danjuma was put in through by Klaassen in the first half but got his shot woefully off target. However, the Villarreal winger made amends for it by setting up Bergwijn for the Netherlands’ first goal of the night.

SUBSTITUTES

Marten de Roon: 6/10

The 30-year-old replaced Klaassen in the second half and offered stability in the middle of the park. Marten de Roon brought his experience to the fore and helped van Gaal’s side see out the game.

Nathan Ake: N/A

The Manchester City man replaced Danjuma late on as the Dutch sought to see out the game. Did his job well in the little time that was left.

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