Netherlands draw 2-2 with Germany to reach Nations League semis
Gelsenkirchen (Germany), Nov 20: A stoppage-time goal by Virgil van Dijk gave the Netherlands a 2-2 draw with Germany and lifted the Dutch into the final four of the inaugural UEFA Nations League alongside Portugal, England and Switzerland.
France and the Netherlands each ended the group stage with seven points, but the Dutch won League A Group 1 by virtue of beating the 2018 World Cup champions 2-1 last week, a result that also consigned Germany to relegation, reports Efe.
With nothing at stake, Germany on Monday were the better side for much of Monday’s contest in Gelsenkirchen.
Thilo Kehrer threatened the Dutch goal within the first 30 seconds and Timo Werner scored in the 9th minute to put the hosts up 1-0.
Leroy Sane struck home from the edge of the area in the 20th minute to double Germany’s advantage, while the closest the Netherlands came to scoring in the first half was when German defender Niklas Süle nearly put the ball in his own net as he tried to clear.
Serge Gnabry, who had two chances to add to the goals before the break, fired the ball straight at Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen on the first occasion and watched his header deflected away from the net on the second.
The visitors’ first shot on target came only in the 54th minute in the form of a free kick that tested German keeper Manuel Neuer, who didn’t need to stir again until the 78th minute, when he kicked away an effort by Memphis Depay.
As the match entered the final 10 minutes, Germany looked closer to getting a third goal than the Dutch to scoring their first, Quincy Promes pulled one back for the visitors in the 85th after a giveaway by Leon Goretzka.
Defender and team captain Van Dijk came forward to reinforce the Dutch attack and Germany’s Kehrer came close to restoring the two-goal lead in the 87th minute.
A minute into stoppage time, a Tonny Vilhena cross found Van Dijk and he converted from short range to secure the 2-2.