Malacia still waiting for World Cup minutes

Friday 25 November 2022 22:13

Tyrell Malacia missed out on the action again as the Netherlands spurned their first opportunity to qualify for the knockout stages of the 2022 World Cup by drawing 1-1 with Ecuador.

For the second time in the tournament, the Reds full-back was an unused substitute, while ex-United defender Daley Blind was selected on the left side by the club's former manager Louis van Gaal.

As the second half unfolded in Doha, the Dutch boss did bring on four substitutes, including another Old Trafford alumnus, Memphis, from the restart.

But Malacia was not among the deployed replacements and therefore watched the full game from the bench, just as he did when his national team beat Senegal 2-0 in their opener.
Malacia excited by World Cup chance Video

Malacia excited by World Cup chance

Tyrell Malacia feels the Netherlands have a good blend of youth and experience...

Going into the game as Group A leaders, the Netherlands would have been the first nation to book a place in the last 16 if they had beaten Ecuador at the Khalifa International Stadium, following Senegal's 3-1 triumph over the hosts Qatar earlier in the day.

The Dutch started in the best possible fashion, going ahead with the quickest goal of the tournament so far, a stunning left-foot strike by PSV Eindhoven winger Cody Gakpo just inside the sixth minute.

But Ecuador worked hard to respond and there was a warning sign for the Netherlands in first-half injury time when the South Americans found the net through Brighton left-back Pervis Estupinan, only to have the effort ruled out for offside.

Van Gaal's men were pegged back just four minutes into the second half, with Enner Valencia grabbing his third goal of the competition in Qatar.

The Fenerbahce forward pounced when a shot from Estupinan was only parried into his path by Netherlands goalkeeper Andries Noppert.

Thereafter, the South Americans showed more intensity than their European opponents and looked the more likely winners but in the end, the two sides had to settle for a point apiece.

Both are still fancied to progress from Group A on Tuesday, when the Netherlands face the eliminated hosts Qatar and Ecuador take on Senegal.