Taking advantage of the opportunity to meet weaker opponents, the Netherlands crushed Gibraltar 7-0, and Belgium defeated Belarus 8-0 in the 2022 World Cup qualifying series in Europe on March 30.

Away from home, Memphis Depay contributed two goals to the Dutch 7-0 victory. But Gibraltar is still more or less praised for its resilient first half. It was not until the second half that the Netherlands showed the difference in class, scoring six consecutive goals.

Depay and the Netherlands had to wait until the second half to crush Gibraltar.  Photo: AP

Depay and the Netherlands had to wait until the second half to crush Gibraltar. Image: AP

Thanks to a series of brilliant saves of goalkeeper Dayle Coleing, they only received a goal in the first 45 minutes, from the end of Tottenham striker Steven Berghuis in the 42nd minute. Sevilla striker, Luuk de Jong doubled his advantage in the 55th minute from Berghuis’s cross. Depay made it 3-0 from a free kick that swung the barrier to change direction. At the 65th minute, the score was 5-0, after Georginio Wijnaldum and Donyell Malen entered the scoreboard.

Play leisurely in the remaining time, but the Netherlands still managed to add two more goals against the 195th opponent on the FIFA rankings. Donny van der Beek, the disgruntled star of being on the bench at Man Utd, made the score 6-0 in the 85th minute, three minutes before Depay had set the result.

This bold victory helped the Netherlands rise to second place in Group G with 6 points in three matches. Turkey – the team that won the Netherlands 4-2 in their opening game – are leading this group with 7 points.

Belarus – currently ranked 88th in the FIFA rankings – is not part of the group “basketball basket” in the qualifying rounds of the Euro or the World Cup. But at Leuven’s home yesterday, Belgium still won 8-0, causing the Eastern European opponent to suffer the most severe defeat in history.

Belgium won easily despite using a second formation.  Photo: AP

Belgium won easily despite using a second formation. Image: AP

Despite taking up half of the pillars – like De Bruyne, Lukaku, Dries Mertens, Benteke, Tielemans …, Belgium still proves its current number one team in the world, according to the FIFA rankings updated on 18 / 2.

In the first half, the students of coach Roberto Martinez led 4-0, from the easy goals of Michy Batshuayi, Hans Vanaken, Leandro Trossard and Jeremy Doku. After the break, with some experimental changes, Belgium still played effectively and scored four more goals.

Dennis Praet made it 4-0, before Benteke, who replaced Batshuayi, scored the fifth in the 70th minute. In the rest of the time, Trossard and Vanaken completed their brace, respectively. 8-0 for the home team.

This victory helped Belgium continue to lead Group E with 7 points, three points ahead of the Czech Republic.

Nhat Tao

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