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L. van Gaal

Van Gaal makes defiant 'unbeaten' claim as he confirms Netherlands exit after World Cup quarter-final heartbreak

8:29 pm AEDT 10/12/22
Louis van Gaal Netherlands 2022
Louis van Gaal has confirmed his retirement from management after the Netherlands' World Cup exit, but was typically defiant upon leaving his post.

WHAT HAPPENED? The Oranje made a valiant attempt at rescuing their quarter-final fate against Argentina, with a Wout Weghorst double - the second of which was an ingenius free-kick routine in the 100th minute - taking the game to extra-time and penalties. However, Van Gaal's side came unstuck from twelve yards, losing 4-3 in the shootout and bowing out. The experienced tactician confirmed that Friday's quarter-final was his last game in management, but signed off in typically defiant fashion.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I will not be continuing as head coach – I only did it for this term, so this was my very last match," Van Gaal told reporters after the match. "I've had a wonderful time. It's incredibly painful to see how we've been eliminated, particularly because I did everything I could to prevent it happen.

"Tonight, there's nothing I could reproach myself for. In 20 matches in charge, we didn't lose a single game. I don't know how many we won – you can find out I think on Google, put in 'Dutch team, Louis van Gaal'. I don't think I've been beaten today – only in a penalty shootout."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Since Van Gaal began his third stint in charge of the Netherlands in 2021, the Oranje have won 14 matches and drawn six across the World Cup, World Cup qualification, UEFA Nations League and international friendlies. He leaves a Dutch side currently eighth in the FIFA men's rankings, and who were just two spot-kicks away from progressing to the World Cup semi-finals.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

DID YOU KNOW? Only Spain (4) have lost more penalty shootouts at the World Cup than Netherlands (1 win from 4).

WHAT NEXT? As Van Gaal announces his retirement from management - as he did between 2016 and 2021 - the Netherlands will go in search of a new manager, with the first task being to secure qualification for the 2024 European Championship.