Home Sports ‘Players are dead in the changing room’: Netherlands coach van Gaal after loss to Argentina in FIFA World Cup

‘Players are dead in the changing room’: Netherlands coach van Gaal after loss to Argentina in FIFA World Cup

by News Desk
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Argentina held their nerves in the quarter-final of the FIFA World Cup 2022 against Netherlands and won 4-3 via penalties after scores were level at 2-2 in extra time. Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saved two penalty kicks in the shootout to help his team reach the semi-final. The match saw several tense moments as 14 yellow cards were shown by the referee.

With goals from Nahuel Molina and Lionel Messi, Argentina led by 2-0 till the 83rd minute of the match when Netherlands’ Wout Weghorst scored a goal to bring the equation to 2-1. Weghorst scored again in the 90+11′ minute to level the scoreline in the most dramatic way possible and send the match into extra time.

Both teams competed neck-to-neck in the extra time too but couldn’t score the winning goal which sent the match into penalty shootouts.

Netherlands missed the first two penalty kicks to lag behind 2-0 in the penalty shootout. They converted rest of the three penalties but it wasn’t enough to win the match. Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal spoke to media after the match and highlighted the terrific fight that his players showcased on the field.

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He also talked about the preparations of the team for the quarterfinal.“I had asked the players to train penalties at their club and they did that. It was a fantastic achievement to come back from 0-2 down to 2-2 but then to lose on penalties is tough,” said Van Gaal.

“I can’t blame myself, I think, we prepared everything. My players fought to the end and they are dead in the changing room. They gave everything and I’m really proud, we didn’t lose in 20 matches,” he said of his record in his third spell as Dutch coach.

“In the shootout we missed the first two penalties and that put pressure on the rest of the penalty takers. It is still a lottery and luckily for them (Argentina) they won,” he added. The 71-year-old manager further admitted that his team did not start the game well. “The problem is we were not able to find free man with the ball. I tried to solve it at halftime and we then changed our tactics three times in the second half.

“We fought unbelievably hard to come back from a 2-0 deficit against a powerful Argentina who can defend very well. In the second half we ran a lot more than Argentina and there were a few players on their last legs. We thought we’d win on penalties because of the training we’ve done,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Messi-led Argentina will now face off against Croatia in the semifinal on Wednesday, December 14.

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