Published: Wed, November 21, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Van Dijk late strike fires Dutch into Nations League semis

Van Dijk late strike fires Dutch into Nations League semis

Van Dijk's late volley salvaged a dramatic 2-2 draw for the Dutch in Gelsenkirchen, propelling them into the Nations League Finals in Portugal next summer and completing a miserable campaign for Joachim Low's hosts, whose relegation to League B had already been confirmed.

Footage showed Van Dijk embracing a tearful Hategan and putting his hand on the back of his head.

"That man broke down, stood with tears in his eyes because he had just lost his mother", Van Dijk said. I consoled him and told him he refereed well.

"When we were 2-0 down (Holland assistant coaches Dwight Lodeweges and Kees van Wonderen) asked me if we should change things around and I said yes", Koeman said.

Hategan officiated Barcelona's Champions League victory over Inter Milan last month and the second leg of Manchester United's Europa League semifinal win over Celta Vigo in 2017.

What an absolute hero van Dijk is.

Van Dijk and his troops will now await the semi-final draw which takes place on Monday 3rd December, where they will discover who they must overcome in order to book their place in the grand final.

But the Dutch implemented a tactical switch - that manager Ronald Koeman was originally unaware of - with Quincy Promes' 85th-minute goal initiating their revival.

After missing out on qualifying for the finals of both Euro 2016 and this year's World Cup, Van Dijk said the priority is to get the Dutch to the Euro 2020 finals.

Oranje will now join Switzerland, Portugal and England in the lucrative end to the tournament, which will take place in Portugal in early June.

'We played a very good first half and should have scored a third in the second half to finish the game.

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