ROTTERDAM (Reuters) – Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk says his nation’s World Cup qualification was deserved regardless of an anxious final two qualifying matches earlier than ultimately reserving their place at subsequent yr’s event in Qatar.
The Dutch, who missed out on the 2018 finals in Russia, ensured prime place in Group G with a 2-0 win over Norway in Rotterdam on Tuesday to complete forward of Turkey.
However that they had let slip an opportunity in Montenegro on the weekend to earn early qualification and had been anxious as they confronted Norway, who wanted victory to usurp them within the standings.
It was not till the final six minutes that the Dutch made certain with targets from Steve Bergwijn and Memphis Depay.
“It was deserved. I do not assume we gave something away, nothing in any respect,” insisted Van Dijk.
“After Saturday, we had been requested to reply and we did a superb job. There may be nonetheless plenty of room for enchancment, but it surely was all concerning the outcome.”
Van Dijk stated he had embraced the stress of the event, made extra eerie by the very fact no spectators had been allowed into De Kuip due to new COVID-19 restrictions.
“These are the video games you need to play, there was plenty of stress. I am unable to converse for everybody, however I used to be actually trying ahead to it.
“After all, you do not actually need to be in a state of affairs like that, but it surely was the way in which it was and I believe we confirmed actual character. It was not straightforward to modify on once more after Montenegro, however we did it,” he added.
Van Dijk missed the European Championship in mid-year due to a critical knee damage sustained early final season with Liverpool, making World Cup qualification all of the sweeter.
“I am unable to wait to steer this group of fellows and create one thing lovely. It is nonetheless a protracted approach to the World Cup, however we deserved to qualify.”
(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape City; Modifying by Robert Birsel)