FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Krul dropped from Netherlands squad

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal dropped long-time back-up goalkeeper Tim Krul as he named a 24-player squad on Friday for this month’s decisive World Cup qualifiers.

Krul dropped from Netherlands squad for this month’s decisive World Cup qualifiers.   -  Pool via Reuters

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal dropped long-time back-up goalkeeper Tim Krul as he named a 24-player squad on Friday for this month’s decisive World Cup qualifiers.

The Dutch take on Montenegro in Podgorica on November 13 and Norway at home in Rotterdam three days later, seeking to top Group G and qualify for next year’s finals in Qatar.

The Netherlands has a two-point lead over second-placed Norway in the standings after winning its last four qualifiers.

Krul, 33, has spent just over a decade in and out of the Dutch squad, mostly as a backup goalkeeper but slipped down the pecking order after the inclusion of Bundesliga-based Mark Flekken from Freiburg for the first time last month.

The Norwich City goalkeeper won the first of 15 caps in a friendly against Brazil in 2011.

He was famously brought on by Van Gaal one minute before the end of extra time against Costa Rica in the 2014 World Cup quarterfinal, specifically for his penalty-stopping ability in the shootout, where he made two saves to see the Dutch into the semis.

Yet most of his international career, Krul has been a back-up, rarely getting a chance to start or come off the bench.

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He was the second choice behind Jasper Cillessen before this year’s European Championship.

When Cillessen was left out due to a COVID-19 infection, coach Frank de Boer turned to veteran Maarten Stekelenburg instead to play in goal in the tournament.

Since Van Gaal arrived back at the helm as coach in September, he has preferred Justin Bijlow as the first choice even though he was previously uncapped, in another blow to Krul.

The Dutch squad is also without attackers Luuk de Jong and Cody Gakpo through injury.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord Rotterdam), Joel Drommel (PSV Eindhoven), Mark Flekken (SC Freiburg)

Defenders: Nathan Ake (Manchester City), Daley Blind (Ajax Amsterdam), Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus), Stefan de Vrij, Denzel Dumfries (both Inter Milan), Tyrell Malacia (Feyenoord Rotterdam), Jurrien Timber (Ajax Amsterdam), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

Midfielders: Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax Amsterdam), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Davy Klaassen (Ajax Amsterdam), Teun Koopmeiners (Atalanta), Guus Til (Feyenoord Rotterdam), Georginio Wijnaldum (Paris Saint Germain

Forwards: Steven Berghuis (Ajax Amsterdam), Arnaut Danjuma (Villarreal), Memphis Depay (Barcelona), Noa Lang (Club Brugge), Donyell Malen (Borussia Dortmund), Wout Weghorst (VfL Wolfsburg).

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