Dutch settle on final squad for World Cup

Sat May 31, 2014 6:50am EDT
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(Reuters) - Coach Louis van Gaal cut six players from his preliminary squad on Saturday as the Netherlands named their final 23-man roster for the World Cup in Brazil, just hours before a warm-up international against Ghana in Rotterdam.

There was only one surprise as 20-year-old center back Terence Kongolo kept his place in the squad despite being taken off at half-time on his international against Ecuador last week, while Patrick van Aanholt fell out of contention when he was expected to be chosen as a back-up left back.

Van Gaal also dropped PSV Eindhoven goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet and four players from the Dutch under-21 side who had not been at last week's training camp in Portugal but were preparing for a European Championship qualifier against Scotland.

A hat-trick for Quincy Promes in that game on Wednesday led Dutch media to speculate he might be picked but he was left out, along with team mates Jean-Paul Boetius, Karim Rekik and Tonny Vilhenna.

Experienced midfielder Rafael van der Vaart was ruled out of contention on Wednesday after suffering a calf injury in Portugal.

The final selection for Brazil includes four players who have been to the last two World Cups in Germany and South Africa - Dirk Kuyt, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Robin van Persie.

Nigel de Jong, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Michel Vorm also went to the 2010 edition, where the Dutch finished runners-up to Spain.

The Netherlands kick off their campaign against Group B rivals Spain in Salvador on June 13 with matches against Australia and Chile to follow.

Squad:   Continued...

The Netherlands national soccer team coach Louis van Gaal (C) gestures as he talks with his players during a training session in Lagos May 23, 2014.   REUTERS/Rafael Marchante