Van Gaal literally pats himself on back for not substituting match-winner Weghorst

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Louis van Gaal could not help but be impressed with his decision to not substitute Wout Weghorst when he appeared to be injured before scoring Netherlands' winning goal against Wales.

The Oranje claimed a dramatic 2-1 Nations League away win on Wednesday, with both teams scoring in second-half stoppage time.

Teun Koopmeiners had opened the scoring just after the break with a cool finish from the edge of the box.

Rhys Norrington-Davies levelled with a towering header to seemingly snatch a draw for Wales, but Weghorst produced a brilliant diving header a minute later to secure all three points in Cardiff.

The Burnley striker was almost withdrawn a little earlier with an injury, but Van Gaal opted against replacing him with Memphis Depay.

Asked about Depay's seemingly lengthy warm-up on the sidelines, Van Gaal said: "I don't know if Memphis had more warming up than other players. I don't think so.

"It's the structure in our selection; you warm up, sit down, warm up, sit down, so you can change instantly.

"Of course I say here in a moment, 'Okay, Memphis now maybe I shall change [for] Weghorst'. You know the name?

"He had a knock, then had to go out. I thought he was injured, and then he was not injured. And then I have to say, I had Memphis with me, 'If he's fit then I don't change'.

"And you know who makes the winning goal? Weghorst! Yes! And then I think… [pats himself on the back]."

Van Gaal is in his third spell as Netherlands coach and presided over the conclusion of their World Cup qualification campaign, ensuring they reached Qatar 2022 after failing to participate at Russia 2018.

They will face Senegal, Ecuador and hosts Qatar in Group A later this year.

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