The Netherlands national team drew in their FIFA World Cup clash against Ecuador at the Khalifa International Stadium, and manager Louis van Gaal is displeased.
The 71-year-old tactician identified the problem with the way his side played in their 1-1 draw, warning his players at a press conference (via Mirror):
“If you want to become world champions, we need to improve a lot, because the quality of the opponents we have yet to face is at a much higher level."
“We didn’t play a good match. We didn’t play well in terms of ball possession and that’s our problem. Also, all the second balls, all the duels, were won by Ecuador. If that happens, then you cannot win. I was satisfied that we drew 1-1 but I was not satisfied with the game.”
The Dutchmen were able to score first, but it did not keep their South American counterparts from finding an equalizer, forcing them to share the points.
The Netherlands will have to face FIFA World Cup hosts Qatar in their final group game of the tournament.
With the Qataris in dismal form and yet to garner a single point, Van Gaal's men are widely expected to take the win and enter the knockout stages.
However, they will have to face serious opposition soon enough, and will need to be on top of their game if they are to go far in the FIFA World Cup.
2022 FIFA World Cup: Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador
The game started on a good note for the Netherlands as they took quick advantage of a complacent Ecuador side, just six minutes into the game.
The goalscorer was young Cody Gakpo, who received the ball from Davy Klaassen before powering it into the back of the net.
The forward's early effort added to his tally so far, following his impressive goal against Senegal in their first game of the season.
The Oranje looked to put their opponents on the back foot with another goal, pressing them consistently, but they were unable to provide the required clinical effort.
Eventually, the South American side found their footing and looked to gain dominance of the proceedings. It nearly pulled through for them when Pervis Estupinan found the mark on the stroke of halftime, but his strike was ruled out for offside.
This did not break down the Ecuadorians, who came back from the half-time break with intent and secured the equalizer only four minutes after.
While both sides continued to seek out efforts at goal, the equalizer from Enner Valencia was enough to share the spoils in their FIFA World Cup clash.