Holland 1974
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Holland 1974
European Group 3, 1972-73

Belgium Holland Iceland Norway

  One of the most important things which people forget about the Dutch World Cup run of 1974 was that it very nearly didn't happen! Under the guidance of Czech-born coach Frantisek Fadrhonc, Holland made heavy weather of qualifying from a group which included their local rivals Belgium as the only serious opposition, Norway being a very much weaker side in the 1970s than they are now. The contest was ultimately decided on goal difference. Holland rattled in considerably more goals against Norway at home and against Iceland home and away, although they struggled to a 2-1 win over Norway in Oslo, central defender Barry Hulshoff scoring the winning goal with just two minutes left.

  There were no "second chance" play-offs in those innocent days, only 16 teams made it to the competition, and, in the European qualifiers at least, you finished top of your group or you watched the World Cup on television.

  The decisive game was a dour 0-0 draw with Belgium in Amsterdam. I've never seen the video, but I've heard from several sources that the visitors had a perfectly good goal disallowed. The second such inconclusive result between the teams, it meant Belgium finished their fixtures without conceding a single goal, but it was all Holland needed, even if it didn't exactly set the football world on fire. Maybe they were trying to lull everyone else into a false sense of security...

18th May 1972 Belgium 4 Iceland 0  
22nd May 1972 Iceland 0 Belgium 4  
3rd August 1972 Norway 4 Iceland 1
4th October 1972 Norway 0 Belgium 2
1st November 1972 Holland 9 Norway 0 (Rotterdam)

Van Beveren
Schneider - Hulshoff - Mansveld - Krol
De Jong - Neeskens - Van Hanegem
Pahlplatz - Cruyff - Keizer

Sub: Brokamp (for Pahlplatz, 66 mins).
Unused subs: Schrijvers, Suurbier, Jansen, G.Mühren.

Scorers: Neeskens 21 mins, Neeskens 51 mins, Cruyff 55 mins, Neeskens 63 mins, De Jong 70 mins, Brokamp 76 mins, Keizer (pen) 80 mins, Cruyff 82 mins, Brokamp 87 mins.

19th November 1972 Belgium 0 Holland 0 (Antwerp)

Van Beveren
Suurbier - Hulshoff - Mansveld - Krol
De Jong - Neeskens - Van Hanegem
Brokamp - Cruyff - Keizer

Unused subs: Schrijvers, Schneider, Jansen, Pahlplatz, Wery.

2nd August 1973 Iceland 0 Norway 4
22nd August 1973 Holland 5 Iceland 0 (Amsterdam)

Van Beveren
Suurbier - Neeskens - Hulshoff - Krol
Haan - Brokamp - Van Hanegem
Rep - Cruyff - Keizer

Subs: Schneider (for Krol, 32 mins), G.Mühren (for Brokamp, 60 mins).
Unused subs: Schrijvers, Jeuring, R.Van de Kerkhof.

Scorers: Van Hanegem 6 mins, Cruyff 8 mins, Haan 17 mins, Brokamp 29 mins, Cruyff 57 mins.

29th August 1973 Iceland 1 Holland 8 (Deventer)

Suurbier - Schneider - Hulshoff - Krol
Haan - Neeskens - Van Hanegem
R.Van de Kerkhof - Cruyff - Brokamp

Unused subs: Van Beveren, Drost, Jansen, Jeuring, Rep.

Scorers: Brokamp 15 mins, Cruyff 8 mins, Neeskens 24 mins Cruyff 28 mins, Geirsson (Iceland) 45 mins, R.Van de Kerkhof 46 mins, Schneider (pen) 48 mins, Van Hanegem 71 mins, Brokamp 75 mins.

12th September 1973 Norway 1 Holland 2 (Oslo)

Van Beveren
Schneider - Drost - Hulshoff - Krol
Jansen - Van Hanegem - G.Mühren
R.Van de Kerkhof - Cruyff - Brokamp

Sub: Haan (for Van Hanegem, 81 mins).
Unused subs: Schrijvers, Suurbier, Jeuring, Keizer.

Scorers: Cruyff 7 mins, Hestad (Norway) 77 mins, Hulshoff 87 mins.

31st October 1973 Belgium 2 Norway 0
18th November 1973 Holland 0 Belgium 0 (Amsterdam)

Suurbier - Hulshoff - Mansveld - Krol
Haan - Neeskens - G.Mühren
Rep - Cruyff - Rensenbrink

Unused subs: Stuy, Jansen, Vam Hanegem, Brokamp, Keizer.

Line-up v Belgium

  The line-up for the decisive home qualifier against Belgium, 18th November 1973.
Back: Hulshoff, Schrijvers, Mansveld, Suurbier, Neeskens, Krol.
Front: Haan, Cruyff, Mühren, Rep, Rensenbrink.

Disallowed goal v Belgium

  And the moment it nearly all went wrong: Schrijvers can only watch and wave as Belgium's Semmeling puts the ball in the net, but the linesman, famously or infamously, has his flag up for offside.

European Group 3 Table.


P W D L F A Pts
Holland 6 4 2 0 24 2 10
Belgium 6 4 2 0 12 0 10
Norway 6 2 0 4 9 16 4
Iceland 6 0 0 6 2 29 0

Qualifying Appearances: Cruyff, Hulshoff, Krol - 6 each; Van Hanegem, Neeskens - 5 each; Van Beveren, Brokamp, Suurbier - 4 each; Haan, Keizer, Mansfeld, Schneider - 3 each; De Jong, René van de Kerkhof, Mühren, Rep, Schrijvers - 2 each; Drost, Jansen, Pahlplatz, Rensenbrink - 1 each.
As Sub: Brokamp, Haan, Mühren, Schneider - 1 each.
Goals: Cruyff - 8; Brokamp - 5; Neeskens - 4; Van Hanegem - 2; Haan, Hulshoff, De Jong, Van de Kerkhof, Schneider - 1 each.

  Of those who played in the qualifiers, several would not appear in the tournament proper. Two key defenders were out injured: sweeper (and, I understand, cult figure) Aad Mansfeld of Den Haag, and Ajax swashbuckler Barry Hulshoff. Defender Epi Drost of Twente had reached the end of his international career, as had MVV striker Willy Brokamp and Twente forward Theo Pahlplatz. Others who did not make the 22 included defender Dick Schneider of Feyenoord, while cultured left-sided midfielder Gerry Mühren of Ajax was to be unavailable for the Finals due to a family illness. Regular goalkeeper Jan van Beveren of PSV Eindhoven would also be absent during the tournament for reasons which partly involved injury but were allegedly more to do with his uncomfortable relationship with Cruyff.

  Unused substitutes during qualifying included Ajax goalkeeper Heinz Stuy (never to be capped by Holland), Twente's Jan Jeuring and Feyenoord's Henk Wery.

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