Van Dijk helps Netherlands to join Portugal, England & Switzerland in the Nations League Semi-finals
The Netherlands sealed a spot in the final four of the inaugural Uefa Nations League after they erased a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 with Germany in Gelsenkirchen.
Monday’s result means that the Netherlands will join Portugal, England and Switzerland in next June’s finals after they topped Group A1.
The Oranje needed to avoid defeat to Joachim Low’s side to guarantee their place in the semi-finals, but first-half strikes from Timo Werner and Leroy Sane appeared to be enough to see them off on the night.
However, late goals from Quincy Promes and Virgil van Dijk stunned the Germans, and France, as the Dutch surged into the next stage.
Ronald Koeman’s side came into this game knowing that they simply needed to avoid defeat to book their spot in the final four, after a stunning win over world champions France last Friday.
Moreover, that performance seemed to have come at a cost, with several of their players below par in Germany on Monday night.
But the home side failed to kill the game in the second half after squandering a mass of opportunities and two goals in the last five minutes for the Netherlands turned the game on its head.
Promes’ 85th-minute strike came when he curled in an inch-perfect effort from the edge of the box.
Liverpool centre-back Van Dijk was instructed to play the remaining minutes of the game as an additional striker for the Netherlands and that move paid off when he expertly volleyed home to level the scores in stoppage time.
The Oranje’s qualification for the finals makes up an interesting final four for the inaugural competition, with the likes of France, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Croatia all missing out
Portugal, who will host the finals next June, became the first team to reach the final stage after they topped group A3.
Gareth Southgate’s England side became the next to join them after a dramatic late Harry Kane winner against World Cup finalists Croatia at Wembley on Sunday.
Switzerland also defied the odds to qualify when they came from 2-0 down to beat Belgium 5-2 at the Swissporarena, before the Netherlands completed the final four on Monday night.