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19th Nov 2018

Late Virgil van Dijk equaliser seals place in the UEFA Nations League semi-finals for the Netherlands

A last gasp equaliser from Virgil Van Dijk ensured that the Netherlands topped group A1 in the UEFA Nations League ahead of France

Reuben Pinder

Van Dijk came to the rescue for the Dutch

A late equaliser from Virgil Van Dijk sealed the Netherlands’ place in the UEFA Nations League semi-finals tonight.

The Dutch needed just a point from their match against already relegated Germany to ensure their progress to the final four of the new competition, but got off to the worst possible start as Germany raced into a 2-0 lead.

Goals from Timo Werner and Leroy Sané gave the Dutch a mountain to climb, with France topping the group as it stood at half-time.

But goals from Quincy Promes and Van Dijk gave the Netherlands that all important point which saw them pip France to top spot in Group A1.

The four group winners from League A, who will compete in the UEFA Nations League semi-finals in June 2019, include England, Switzerland, Portugal and the Netherlands.

The Dutch were not fancied ahead of the Nations League’s inaugural campaign, having failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, when they were drawn into a group which included world champions France. But Ronald Koeman has kickstarted a rebirth in Dutch football, with Memphis Depay the star of the attack and Van Dijk leading by example at the back.

Switzerland, meanwhile, came from 2-0 down to beat Belgium 5-2, securing their place in the final four.

England’s late winner over Croatia on Sunday afternoon ensured that they topped Group A4 ahead of the World Cup semi-finalists and Spain.

The final of the Nations League is scheduled to take place in Portugal in June 2019.