A series of disaster coaching appointments saw the Dutch FA turn to the tried and tested Louis Van Gaal for salvation. He succeeded Frank De Boer after the uninspiring exit from Euro 2020. The one change that is clearly visible that Van Gaal brought to Oranje is the increased confidence of their talisman Memphis. The Barca man is the top scorer in the European qualifiers and scoring a variety of goals. The second a particularly cheeky flick. His coaches at club and international level now realize that he isn’t a player who can be satisfied stuck on the wing but given a free role he can be mighty brilliant. The Dutch had a high line game plan for this match. This meant that center backs Virgil and De Vrij were on the center circle when the Dutch had possession. This however meant that they were vulnerable for the counter attacking ball over the top like the chance for Montenegro number 16 in which he could only find the side netting luckily for the Dutch.
Montenegro went into this one knowing they had zero chance of making it to Qatar after the earlier goalless draw between Norway and Latvia(controversial ending there with Norway having a goal chopped off late on). This also meant that Holland could qualify automatically with a win here. They would have led Norway by a four points with a game remaining. They blew it with some naive defending. Virgil caught out of position in the Vukotic goal to make it 1-2 leaving De Vrij who isn’t the quickest defender hung to dry on 82 minutes. On 86 minutes it was 2-2. Treasonous defending here by the Dutch defender who didn’t even challenge for the aerial ball leaving Vujnovic to nod home the equalizer. If the hand ball penalty against Dumfries been given in the first half(seen those given in England a million times by the way) we could have had an upset here. Impressive were the wingers of Holland Danjuma and Dumfries in a take away positive for Van Gaal. A team already eliminated is more dangerous than a team with a purpose because they play with freedom and enthusiasm of a team with nothing to lose as seen with results in match day 9. Holland now face a winner take all match with Norway on Tuesday for the automatic ticket. A draw will do as well. Having missed 2018 the pressure is certainly on the Dutch. No Erling Haaland for Norway which could be a factor.