Late goals will win the Dutch spot in the League of Nations finals



GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany – The Netherlands has scored twice in the last five minutes to recover from two goals and on Monday received a 2-2 draw against Germany in the League of Nations to secure a place in the next year's finals before the world champions France.

Virgil van Dijk struck a great volleyball shortly after stopping to offset visitors after Quincy Promes lowered the deficit in the 85th minute with the Germans who led through the early goals of Timo Werner and Leroy Sane.

Switzerland, England and hosts Portugal has already qualified for the final of four teams in June.

The Dutch on the way to recovery under the leadership of new manager Ronald Koeman, after failing to qualify for the last two major tournaments, outperformed Group A league 1, despite a seven-point finish with France for a better record between heads.

"It is the reward of our hard work," Central Defender Van Dijk told reporters. "It was good for us to get the balance and qualify. After a slight first half, we wanted to get stronger after the break.

The Germans who suffered the first shock in the first place in the World Cup in June and lost the German record six times this year finished the last place with just two points after this year became a known lack of focus.

However, their swift young front, dubbed the "moped gang," looked promising and lived to their mark as 22-year-old Werner and Sane, plus Serge Gnabry, 23, frightened the Dutch defense with their speed, especially in the first half.

Already Thursday showed their potential in a friendly match 3: 0 over Russia, when coach Joachim Loew made changes after the German World Cup and the distance of the League of Nations.

"I'm a bit disappointed with the result, but overall I've seen more positive than negatives," Loew told reporters. "We had a very good first half and we should reach a third in the second half to finish the match, but this seems to be the story of our entire year," he said.

The Germans took the lead after nine minutes when Werner checked the pass with his head and then fired a very low shot into the corner of the net from 20 meters. Sane finished almost the same move in the 20th place, set on a deep Toni Kroos pass and dug at the second goal of the evening with the shot off the edge of the box.

Gnabry nearly got a third with a head shot at the 40th and Werner set off his mark just a fire wide in an hour as the Dutch tried to hold his opponents and stayed toothless up before Promes got them back into the game. Van Dijk then got the even-numbed last trap, who booked his place in the final of a new competition in Portugal.

Norway secured support for League B in the League of Nations when double Ola Kamaras won twice in Cyprus on Monday, while Bulgaria's second place was held 1: 1 with Slovenia's victory in the second round of league C group 3.

Live Kamara once lost in both halves, this year she placed five goals in four international tournaments to help Norway record its fourth victory in the group and ended with 13 points. Both teams ended the match at GSP in Nicosia with ten men after Cypriot defender Valentinos Sielis and Norwegian striker Mohamed Elyounoussi were dropped in dying minutes.

Cyprus, which had only one goal shot, may still be deprived if it ends up as the third lowest figure in league C.

The replacement of Galin Ivanov's first international goal, given to Bulgaria, which entered the final round with Norway, deserved the lead in the middle of the second half at the Vasil Levski stadium, but Slovenia's Miha Zajc settled seven minutes later.

Slovenia, which has already been deposed, has won six games without winning – that's their worst run since 2004.

Georgia Merebashvili and teenager Giorgi Chakvetadze ended their league campaign this year when they finished with the fifth international goal and helped beat the second Kazakhstan 2-1.

Oralkhan Omirtajev grabbed a late consolation for visitors who finished the winners despite winning just one – 4-0 drubbing of Andorra's bottom team. The small Iberian country was held on Monday 0-0 draw by Latvia on Sunday when they finished their campaign unbeaten at home. – Reuters


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