Sunday 22 September 2019

Late Van Dijk volley snatches Dutch finals spot

Holland's Quincy Promes. Photo: REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler
Holland's Quincy Promes. Photo: REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler

Jamie Holland

Holland scored twice in the last five minutes to snatch a dramatic 2-2 draw with Germany in Gelsenkirchen and qualify for next year's Nations League finals at the expense of world champions France.

Having trailed 2-0 since the 19th minute, Quincy Promes pulled one back before a superb 90th-minute volley from Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk earned the Dutch the point they needed to top Group A1.

Victory for already-relegated Germany would have meant France reached the last four and they looked well set when Timo Werner's superb finish after nine minutes was followed by Leroy Sane's deflected strike 2-0 soon after.

But Ronald Koeman's side launched their dramatic fightback to become the last nation to qualify for next summer's finals, joining England, Portugal and Switzerland.

Last night's result means that Germany finished their Nations League campaign without a win.

Slovakia were relegated from League B after losing 1-0 to Czech Republic. A point would have been enough for the hosts to secure their survival in a group that had already been won by Ukraine.

Roma striker Patrik Schick fired his side ahead shortly after the half-hour mark to ensure the Czech Republic remain in the second tier.

Norway secured promotion to the second tier with a 2-0 victory in Cyprus, as Bulgaria were held to a 1-1 draw with Slovenia.

Lars Lagerback's side came into the game level on points and head-to-head record with Bulgaria in Group C4.

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