UEFA Nations League: Virgil van Dijk’s late strike against Germany sends Netherlands to the finals

Virgil van Dijk scored a dramatic late equaliser as Netherlands booked their place in UEFA Nations League Finals with a 2-2 draw in Germany.

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Ronald Koeman’s side started the evening knowing a point would see them finish top of Group A1 above France following their 2-0 win over the world champions last Friday, but goals from Tim Werner (9) and Leroy Sane (19) saw already relegated Germany race into a two-goal lead.

More bad news for Germany?

Germany, who were already relegated to the second tier of the Nations League ahead of the game against Netherlands, will drop into pot two for Euro 2020 qualification if Poland avoid defeat in Portugal on Tuesday evening.

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France looked in pole position to qualify but with time running out, Quincy Promes gave the Netherlands a lifeline five minutes from time, before captain Van Dijk completed the comeback with an emphatic finish in the 90th minute to seal his side’s place in the last four in Portugal next summer.

They now join England, Portugal and Switzerland in the draw for next summer’s finals, which takes place in Dublin on December 3.

Player ratings

Germany: Neuer (7), Hummels (7), Sule (6), Rudiger (6), Kehrer (7), Kroos (8), Schulz (7), Kimmich (7), Werner (8), Sane (8), Gnabry (7).

Subs: Reus (6), Muller (6), Goretzka (6).

Netherlands: Cillessen (6), Tete (7), De Ligt (6), Van Dijk (8), Blind (7), De Roon (6), F De Jong (7), Wijnaldum (6), Promes (7), Depay (7), Babel (6).

Subs: Dilrosun (6), Vilhena (7), L De Jong (6)

Man of the match: Toni Kroos

Image result for Germany 2-2 Netherlands: Virgil van Dijk's late strike sends visitors to Nations League Finals

Germany needed just nine minutes to take the lead. Serge Gnabry’s flick found Werner on the edge of the area and the 22-year-old finished powerfully past Jasper Cillessen to find the bottom corner.

The hosts doubled their lead 10 minutes later through Sane, who scored for the second successive international game with the help of a deflection after latching onto Toni Kroos’ through ball.

Germany celebrate Leroy Sane's goal

Germany were in full control but they couldn’t find a third goal to finish off the Netherlands, who lost Ryan Babel to injury just before the break.

Gnabry went close with a header in the 40th minute while Werner dragged a shot wide in the 63rd minute after getting in behind the Dutch defence.

Leroy Sane in action for Germany against the Netherlands

Thomas Muller came on for his 100th cap but it was Netherlands who took control in the final stages as Germany finished their Nations League campaign without a victory.

Promes curled a shot home on 85 minutes before Van Dijk, who was playing as a makeshift centre forward, completed the turnaround with a thumping finish to spark wild Dutch celebrations.

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Virgil Van Dijk has scored 2️⃣ goals in @UEFAEURO for Netherlands ?? – both v Germany ??

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