Schulz Seals Dramatic Late Win For Germany Over The Netherlands

Germany’s players celebrate after scoring their second goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 Group C qualification football match between The Netherlands and Germany at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam on March 24, 2019.
EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP

 

Nico Schulz’s 90th minute winner fired Germany to a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Netherlands in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier on Sunday, lifting the pressure off coach Joachim Loew.  

It was Germany’s first win in a competitive game since last year’s World Cup and came after a game in which Loew’s side showed strength and fragility in equal measure.

The Germans were magnificent in the first 45 minutes in Amsterdam but were outplayed in the second half as the Dutch came back from 2-0 down against their rivals for the second time since November.

Yet Schulz prodded in a last-gasp winner against the run of play to hand Germany the win.

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Germany burst out of the blocks and Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen had to beat away a fierce shot from Serge Gnabry after just two minutes.

With a quarter of an hour gone, the visitors took a deserved lead when Schulz burst up the left wing and found Leroy Sane with a low cross. As Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt slipped on the turf, Sane slipped away and smashed the ball past Cillessen.

The Dutch looked equally dangerous at the other end, however, and the veteran Ryan Babel forced two outstanding saves in quick succession from Manuel Neuer.

But the Johan-Cruijff-Arena fell silent when Gnabry found the top corner with a breathtaking strike from the edge of the box on 35 minutes.

The hosts responded furiously after the break and De Ligt made up for his earlier error by flicking a Memphis Depay cross past Neuer to make it 2-1.

With just over an hour gone, Lyon forward Depay squeezed a shot through a crowded box to level the scores.

The Netherlands looked the more likely winners for much of the rest of the game, until Schulz popped up in the box late on to steer in the winner and crown a thrilling match.

AFP

House Collapses In Suspected Gas Blast In Dutch City

The Netherlands on the map

 

A suspected gas explosion in the Dutch city of The Hague caused a house to partially collapse, emergency services said Sunday, and local media reported two people have been pulled from the rubble.

Images showed the front of the building had been ripped off and debris was strewn over the street in a residential area of the city.

NOS television said firefighters had pulled two people from the wreckage but more might be trapped. Rescue work was being hampered because the building was unstable.

AFP

Netherlands Need World Cup Miracle, Says Robben

Dutch forward Arjen Robben (C) attends a training of the Netherlands’ football team in Katwijk, on October 3, 2017. Bas Czerwinski / ANP / AFP

Unless the Netherlands can beat Sweden by a seven-goal margin on Tuesday the inventors of the beautiful game will be absent from the 2018 World Cup finals.

Having missed the cut for Euro 2016 the Netherlands sit third in Group A and can make the play-offs only with a high-scoring win over second-placed Sweden after a poor start to their campaign.

Coach Dick Advocaat, who took over from Danny Blind four games ago, is in no mood to concede defeat however.

“7-0 is possible,” he claimed.

“Sweden have just beaten Luxembourg 8-0 so why can’t we do the same to them,” he reasoned.

Veteran Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben takes a more realistic line.

“It’s over,” he said. “Mathematically it’s still possible of course, but we need a miracle.”

That miracle will have to be achieved without fading 33-year-old Wesley Sneijder, who has been a cornerstone of much of their past success but whose current form is deemed not good enough by Advocaat.

“Personally, I’d have liked him to be here,” said Robben, “but the decision is with the coach.”

Robben, Sneijder and Robin Van Persie led the way for the Netherlands in their celebrated orange shirts, romping to the 2010 final in South Africa only to be narrowly beaten by Spain.

At the Brazil World Cup under Luis Van Gaal in 2014 they ripped Spain apart and made a fine run to the semi-finals and another narrow defeat, this time by Lionel Messi’s Argentina, themselves now on the brink of disaster.

Whether or not the Dutch scrape into the play-offs, assistant coach Ruud Gullit has warned of a worrying trend that sees young Dutch players moving abroad, but then not playing first-team football.

“That’s the biggest problem that we have,” Gullitt told AFP ahead of the game. “We warned players, young players, to stay in Holland and play first-team football. Because then, later on when you’re good enough, you will get to places anyway.”

Sweden can still win the group should France lose to Belarus and they themselves beat the Dutch.

AFP