Video: Robin van Persie's embarrassing own goal that knocked the Netherlands out of Euro 2016
Published 14/10/2015 | 02:30
Just over a year after finishing third at the World Cup finals in Brazil, Holland must live with the embarrassment of failing to make even the play-offs for a place at Euro 2016.
Needing to beat the Czech Republic in Amsterdam to have any hope of pipping Turkey for a play-off place from Group A, a side including Wesley Sneijder, the Manchester United duo of Daley Blind and Memphis Depay, and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar crumbled to a 3-2 defeat against 10 men.
Full-back Pavel Kaderabek gave the Czechs the lead in the 24th minute, getting free down the right after a slick move had shredded the slow Dutch defence before firing past goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet at his near post. Eleven minutes later it was two when Josef Sural beat Virgil van Dijk's weak challenge and prodded the ball home from close range.
Czech defender Marek Suchy was sent off just before half-time for a professional foul but, even though the Dutch coach, Danny Blind, brought on Robin van Persie, the veteran striker succeeded in heading into his own net with 24 minutes to go. Huntelaar and Van Persie got late consolations.
Stunning own goal by Robin van Persie last night.. pic.twitter.com/bDbQMQt4hw— The Football Café (@thefootballcafe) October 14, 2015
It is the first time Holland have failed to qualify for a major tournament since Ireland ruined their chances of making the cut for the 2002 World Cup and attention will swiftly turn to the future of head coach Danny Blind.
The Royal Dutch Football Association insisted the 54-year-old would remain in charge regardless of the team's fate but pressure is sure to mount, with Southampton boss Ronald Koeman a potential alternative.
A late winner by Selcuk Inan made snatched a 1-0 victory for Turkey against Iceland.
The victory ensured Turkey finished ahead of Holland and avoided the lottery of the play-offs, going through automatically as the competition's best third-placed team.
The campaign has been unspectacular, however, for Fatih Terim's side, who have drawn twice with Latvia and lost to the group's top two, the Czech Republic and Iceland.
The final match seemed likely to end in anti-climax as well, as a dreary contest headed towards a goalless draw before Turkey's Gokhan Tore was sent off with 12 minutes remaining for a nasty challenge on Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.
Iceland, however, perhaps distracted having already sealed progress, never looked like capitalising and instead it was Inan who grabbed the winner, curling the ball into the top corner from 25 yards with one minute left.
Meanwhile, Norway blew their chance to qualify directly after they conceded two goals in the last 20 minutes in a 2-1 defeat against already-qualified Italy.
Needing a win to finish second in Group H and clinch their place, Norway were leading through Alexander Tettey's first-half goal until a blunder by Haitam Aleesami allowed Alessandro Florenzi to level.
Aleesami tried to chest the ball back to his goalkeeper Orjan Nyland but apparently failed to notice Florenzi, who prodded the ball into the net in the 73rd minute.
Graziano Pelle snatched a late winner to ensure top spot for Italy while Norway finished third, below Croatia. Ivan Perisic scored in the 25th minute to secure a 1-0 win over Malta to lift Croatia above Norway.
Elsewhere, Kevin De Bruyne and Dries Mertens both scored a goal and provided an assist to help Belgium secure top spot in Group B and first place in the FIFA rankings with a 3-1 victory over Israel.
Countries qualified for Euro 2016
Group winners: Czech Republic, Belgium, Spain, Germany, England, Northern Ireland, Austria, Italy, Portugal
Group runners-up: Iceland, Wales, Slovakia, Poland, Switzerland, Romania, Russia, Croatia, Albania
Best third place: Turkey
(Finals draw takes place on December 12)
Qualified for play-offs -
Seeded: Bosnia-H, Ukraine, Sweden, Hungary
Unseeded: Ireland, Slovenia, Norway, Denmark
(The play-off draw takes place this Sunday)