Holland 1978
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Holland 1978
European Group 4, 1976-77

Belgium Holland Iceland N. Ireland

  It was very much a case of history repeating itself for the Qualifying round, with Holland up against both Belgium and Iceland, as they had been before the 1974 World Cup. This time, however, Northern Ireland were the jokers in the pack. They took the only point Holland were to drop in the competition, and beat Belgium into the bargain. Home and away wins against Belgium had eased any fears Holland might have had about getting through, and their qualification was, if not exactly a formality, at least not as touch-and-go as in 1974. They did set some sort of record by using five goalkeepers in the six games.

5th September 1976 Iceland 0 Belgium 1  
8th September 1976 Iceland 0 Holland 1 (Rejkjavik)

Van Kraay - Rijsbergen - Krol
Jansen - Van der Kuylen - Haan - W.Van de Kerkhof
R.Van de Kerkhof - Geels - Rensenbrink

Sub: Kist (for Geels, 60 mins).
Unused Subs: Van Beveren, Meutstege, De Jong, Peters.

Scorer: Geels 42 mins.

13th October 1976 Holland 2 Northern Ireland 2 (Rotterdam)

Van Kraay - Rijsbergen - Krol
Jansen - Neeskens - Haan - W.Van de Kerkhof
Geels - Cruyff - Rensenbrink

Subs: R.Van de Kerkhof (for W.Van de Kerkhof, 45 mins), Van der Kuylen (for Geels, 60 mins).
Unused Subs: Jongbloed, Meutstege, Kist.

Scorers: McGrath (N.Ireland) 4 mins, Krol 64 mins, Cruyff 66 mins, Spence (N.Ireland) 88 mins.

10th November 1976 Belgium 2 Northern Ireland 0
26th March 1977 Belgium 0 Holland 2 (Antwerp)

Suurbier - Rijsbergen - Krol - Hovenkamp
Kist - Neeskens - W.Van de Kerkhof
Rep - Cruyff - Rensenbrink

Sub: Van der Kuylen (for Kist, 65 mins).
Unused Subs: Van Beveren, Dusbaba, R.Van de Kerkhof, Geels.

Scorers: Rep 19 mins, Cruyff 85 mins.

11th June 1977 Iceland 1 Northern Ireland 0  
31st August 1977 Holland 4 Iceland 1 (Nijmegen)

Van Beveren
Suurbier - Rijsbergen - Krol - Hovenkamp
Jansen - W.Van de Kerkhof - Van Hanegem
Rep - Geels - R.Van de Kerkhof

Sub: Dusbaba (for Rijsbergen, 65 mins).
Unused Subs: Treytel, Vermeulen, Peters, Kist.

Scorers: Van Hanegem 15 mins, Geels 17 mins, Rep 23 mins, Sigurvinson (Iceland) (pen) 76 mins, Geels 90 mins.

3rd September 1977 Belgium 4 Iceland 0  
21st September 1977 Northern Ireland 2 Iceland 0  
12th October 1977 Northern Ireland 0 Holland 1 (Belfast)

Suurbier - Rijsbergen - Krol - Hovenkamp
Jansen - W.Van de Kerkhof - Van Hanegem
Rep - Cruyff - R.Van de Kerkhof

Subs: Dusbaba (for Rijsbergen, 50 mins), Van der Kuylen (for Cruyff, 71 mins).
Unused Subs: Treytel, Peters, Geels.

Scorer: W.Van de Kerkhof 74 mins.

26th October 1977 Holland 1 Belgium 0 (Amsterdam)

Suurbier - Dusbaba - Krol - Hovenkamp
Jansen - Neeskens - W.Van de Kerkhof
R.Van de Kerkhof - Cruyff - Rensenbrink

Subs: Van Hanegem (for Jansen, 13 mins), Geels (for R.Van de Kerkhof, 63 mins).
Unused Subs: Van Beveren, Van der Kuylen, Peters.

Scorer: R.Van de Kerkhof 2 mins.

16th November 1977 Northern Ireland 3 Belgium 0  

Line-up v N.ireland

The line-up for the qualifying game away to Northern Ireland, 12th October 1977.
Back: Jongbloed, Hovenkamp, Suurbier, Rijsbergen, Willy van de Kerkhof, Van Hanegem, Krol.
Front: Rep, René van de Kerkhof, Cruyff, Jansen.

European Group 4 Table.


P W D L F A Pts
Holland 6 5 1 0 11 3 11
Belgium 6 3 0 3 7 6 6
N. Ireland 6 2 1 3 7 6 5
Iceland 6 1 0 5 2 12 2

Qualifying Appearances: Krol, Willy van de Kerkhof - 6 each; Jansen, Rijsbergen - 5 each; Cruyff, Hovenkamp, René van de Kerkhof, Rensenbrink, Suurbier - 4 each; Geels, Neeskens, Rep - 3 each; Haan, Van Hanegem, Jongbloed, Van Kraay - 2 each; Van Beveren, Dusbaba, Kist, Van der Kuylen, Ruiter, Schrijvers, Treytel - 1 each.
As Sub: Dusbaba, Van der Kuylen - 2 each; Geels, Van Hanegem, Kist, René van de Kerkhof - 1 each.
Goals: Geels - 3; Rep, Cruyff - 2 each; Van Hanegem, Krol, René van de Kerkhof, Willy van de Kerkhof - 1 each.

  Players who featured in Qualifying games but did not appear in the 1978 World Cup proper included: Anderlecht goalkeeper Jan Ruiter (the Iceland game was in fact his only cap); PSV goalkeeper Jan van Beveren, who had also helped the 1974 team in qualification, but missed that tournament too; the veteran Feyenoord goalkeeper Eddie Treytel (a squad member in 1974); Ajax defender Johnny Dusbaba; AZ '67 left-back Hugo Hovenkamp (who was named in the 1978 squad, but didn't play due to injury); PSV midfielder Willy van der Kuylen; AZ '67 midfielder Kees Kist; Wim van Hanegem of course, now an AZ '67 player; Ajax striker Ruud Geels (who had been substitute for several games in 1974, but never played); and, last but not least, a Barcelona forward called Cruyff.

  Players who did not get past the bench in the qualifying campaign were: Theo de Jong, one of the 1974 team's unsung reserves; NEC Nijmegen midfielder Jan Peters, the star of Holland's celebrated 2-0 win over England at Wembley in February 1977; Sparta Rotterdam (later Ajax) defender Wim Meutstege; and left-winger Pierre Vermeulen of Roda JC.

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