Virgil Van Dijk consoled recently bereaved referee after Netherlands win

Elena Summers
November 20, 2018

Netherlands managed to pip France to top spot in Group A1, securing a place in the final four of the competition, with the semi-finals set to take place in June 2019.

Xherdan Shaqiri was Liverpool's star performer on the worldwide scene over the weekend, but Van Dijk followed his lead with a crucial intervention for the Netherlands on Monday.

Koeman insisted that he waited until the final minutes to use the tactic as he didn't want to concede more goals at 2-0 down.

Minutes after scoring the equaliser, Van Dijk was captured on camera amid an embrace with Romanian referee, Ovidiu Hategan. But a goal from Liverpool's Gini Wijnaldum and a late Memphis Depay penalty saw them consign France to their first defeat in 15 matches on Friday.

Despite the fightback coach Ronald Koeman told broadcaster NOS after the game he was not impressed with the way his team played. I wished him strength and said that he had blown well. "Of course, with Dwight and Kees van Wonderen we went through different scenarios prior to the game, and also that we had to force something in the final phase. I think we should be all proud of ourselves - I'm certainly very proud of my team", Van Dijk, the Holland captain said after the match.

Werner ended his barren run of eight internationals without a goal and Sane added the second, with the help of a deflection, 11 minutes later to seemingly floor the Dutch.

Despite finishing the year with a 3-0 win over Russian Federation last Thursday and a draw with the Dutch, 2018 has been a nightmare year for the Germans.

The Netherlands face their rivals Germany in a huge Nations League clash that could send them to the finals next summer.

"With this in mind we will have lots of room to allow young players to come in and for them to get more and more experience with the national team".

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