Nations League round-up: Dutch fight back to advance

Germany coach Joachim Loew looking to rebuild after 2018 collapse

There we have it. France will not progress in the UEFA Nations League after a 90th minute equaliser from Virgil Van Dijk against Germany sent them to the top of the group.

The trio of Serge Gnabry, Sane and Werner, so effective in Thursday's 3-0 friendly win over Russian Federation, again caused the Dutch defence no end of problems in the opening 45 minutes. 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. "I think we should be all proud of ourselves - I'm certainly very proud of my team", Van Dijk, the Holland captain said after the match.

Netherlands scored twice in the last five minutes to recover from two goals down and earn a 2-2 draw against relegated Germany in the Nations League, thereby securing a spot in next year's finals ahead of world champions France.

"We worked so hard every game and to get rewards for that is fantastic".

Later, at a prematch news conference, Low, who has been in charge since 2006, said the team's demise in 2018 was unexpected but part of a normal cycle in sport and he is now focused on rebuilding.

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

At 2-0 down to Germany in the 85th minute, Dutch hopes of reaching the Nations League finals looked long gone.

It's also interesting that in an age of technology in the modern game that a simple pen and paper played such a crucial role in one of global football's biggest fixtures. Sweden would take the promotion slot if it wins.

Elsewhere in the Nations League, goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher was an unused substitute for Republic of Ireland as they played out a goalless stalemate with Denmark.

Romania are also chasing promotion to League C against Montenegro on Tuesday, as are Serbia, which will enter League B with a win or if Romania fail to beat Montenegro.

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