Nations league: Netherlands shock Germany, complete last four pack

Netherlands vs Germany in action

Virgil van Dijk’s 90th-minute equaliser against Germany sent the Netherlands through to the semi-finals of the Nations League following a dramatic late fightback at the Veltins-Arena.

The Liverpool centre-back volleyed in from close range from Tonny Vilhena’s cross in Germany.

Dutch winger Quincy Promes had scored their first five minutes earlier, drilling in from the edge of the box.

Timo Werner and Leroy Sane had given Germany a 2-0 lead at half-time.

The Netherlands finish top of Group A1 ahead of world champions France and will join England, Portugal and Switzerland in next summer’s finals.

Germany, who were already relegated to the second tier following a 2-1 defeat in France last month, will drop into the group of second seeds for Euro 2020 qualifying if Poland beat Portugal on Tuesday evening (19:45 GMT).

Joachim Low’s side have failed to win a competitive match since they beat Sweden in the group stages of the World Cup before a shock early exit.

“I am a bit disappointed by the result but overall I saw more positives than negatives,” said Low. “We played a very good first half and should have scored a third in the second half to finish the game.

“But this kind of thing seems to be the story of our entire year,”

Manchester City’s Sane, who was left out of the World Cup squad, scored his second goal in four days but it was not enough as the Netherlands fought back after the break.

Their chances were few in the first half – Daley Blind’s deflected cross which skimmed the top of the net was the closest they came before Promes eventually found the back of the net.

Germany’s Werner had two great chances to score earlier in the second half but he shot straight into keeper Jasper Cillessen’s hands from close range before striking wide from Serge Gnabry’s threaded pass.

Thomas Muller came on as a second-half substitute to make his 100th appearance for Germany and could have extended the lead to 3-0 but his cut-back was slightly behind Sane.

Netherlands captain Van Dijk has now scored two goals in his last three appearances having only scored once in 18 games prior to the start of the Nations League tournament.

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