Sat, 28 Jan 2023

Doha [Qatar], November 26 (ANI): Netherlands coach Van Gaal isn't too pleased with his team after a bland performance against Ecuador who perhaps earned something more out of the Group A fixture.

Ecuador came from behind to hit back to hold Netherlands to a 1-1 draw in the second game of their Group A match at the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022 and in the process they knocked out hosts Qatar.

"We were poor in terms of ball possession and if you're not good at ball possession you won't reach the other half. We would lose the ball too quickly so we could not pass to our own players. Plus we lost every challenge, every duel, every second ball. Ecuador could have won but they did not have many chances either," Skysports quoted Van Gaal as saying.

Gaal said his players didn't produce a fine performance but they're still in good shape to advance to the knockout stages of the prestigious tournament.

"I must say I was satisfied [with the result] but I was not satisfied with the game. We simply need to improve our game in terms of ball possession and we are working on that and we will continue to work on that. Whether we will make it [further] in this tournament I can't say, I can't guarantee that but I think so," he added.

Coming to the match, Netherlands took the lead early on thanks to Cody Gakpo's second goal of the competition, but Ecuador responded early in the second half through Enner Valencia. The former West Ham striker scored his third goal of the competition, but there were late worries for him because he had to be carried out due to a knee injury.

As a result, Ecuador will advance if they win against Senegal while the Netherlands still need a point against Qatar in their last group match on Tuesday.

In the Netherlands' opening match against Senegal, Gakpo scored with six minutes remaining, but it took him until the sixth minute against Ecuador, a squad that had had seven straight clean sheets.

The PSV Eindhoven striker received a pass from Davy Klaasen on the edge of the box, set himself up with two touches, and then sent a shot inside Hernan Galindez's near post.Just before halftime, Ecuador thought they had taken the lead when Estupinan flicked in a shot from the edge of the box by Angelo Preciado.

However, the goal was disallowed for offside because Jackson Porozo was judged to be blocking Andries Noppert's view of the goal.

After 49 minutes, though, Ecuador was not to be denied the equaliser as Noppert could only palm Estupinan's shot into Valencia's path, who had free reign of the six-yard box to prod into an empty net. A VAR check for offside occurred once more, but the striker was unquestionably on. (ANI)

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