Dramatic late five-minute fightback seals Netherlands draw against Germany


The culmination of this particular streak was also a first; never before had Germany lost by three goals or more in 23 meetings with the Netherlands, who happen to be their next opponents following the 3-0 win over Russian Federation last week.

So it's hats off to Van Dijk for converting his golden chance and hats off to Koeman for having the wherewithal to push his commanding centre-back up into the attack to mix things up a bit in his hour (or minute) of need.

'I wished him strength and said that he had done well'.

"And in the end it's fantastic that the equaliser came from the guy who was told on the note to push up front".

The result, which sees Germany demoted to League B for next season, cast a pall over legend Thomas Muller's 100th cap.

The Germans, who suffered a shock first-round exit at the World Cup in June and lost a German record six times this year, finished in last place with just two points after what has become a familiar lack of focus this year.

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"It's a fantastic feeling".

"Our focus however is now like it was before - exclusively on qualifying for the European Championship, where we want to send a strong team out".

Hategan was understandably very emotional, but Van Dijk did what he could to comfort the recently bereaved ref. "Of course, with Dwight and Kees van Wonderen we went through different scenarios prior to the game, and also that we had to force something in the final phase".

But the home side failed to kill the game in the second half after squandering a mass of opportunities and two goals in the last five minutes for Netherlands turned the game on its head. Three of the four teams have been decided, - England, Portugal and Switzerland.

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Croatia as a top seed will avoid teams like France, Belgium, England and Spain. Oranje beat world champions France 2-0 on Friday.