Netherlands into Nations League finals after 2-2 draw with Germany – as it happened


Here are all tonight’s results, and a guide to the ups and downs:

Thursday 15 November

League A, Group 2: Belgium 2-0 Iceland
A4: Croatia 3-2 Spain
B3: Austria 0-0 Bosnia-Herzegovina
C2: Hungary 2-0 Estonia, Greece 1-0 Finland
D1: Kazakhstan 1-1 Latvia, Andorra 1-1 Georgia
D2: Luxembourg 0-2 Belarus, San Marino 0-1 Moldova

Friday 16 November

League A, Group 1: Netherlands 2-0 France
B1: Slovakia 4-1 Ukraine
B4: Wales 1-2 Denmark
C3: Cyprus 1-1 Bulgaria, Slovenia 1-1 Norway
D4: Gibraltar 2-6 Armenia, Liechtenstein 0-2 FYR Macedonia

Saturday 17 November

League A, Group 3: Italy 0-0 Portugal
B2: Turkey 0-1 Sweden
C1: Albania 0-4 Scotland
C4: Serbia 2-1 Montenegro, Romania 3-0 Lithuania
D3: Azerbaijan 2-0 Faroe Islands, Malta 0-5 Kosovo 

Sunday 18 November

League A, Group 2: Switzerland 5-2 Belgium
A4: England 2-1 Croatia 
B3: Northern Ireland 1-2 Austria 
C2: Hungary 2-0 Finland, Greece 0-1 Estonia
D2: San Marino 0-2 Belarus, Moldova 1-1 Luxembourg 

Monday 19 November

League A, Group 1: Germany 2-2 Netherlands
B1: Czech Republic 1-0 Slovakia
B4: Denmark 0-0 Republic of Ireland
C3: Cyprus 0-2 Norway, Bulgaria 1-1 Slovenia
D1: Georgia 2-1 Kazakhstan, Andorra 0-0 Latvia
D4: FYR Macedonia 4-0 Gibraltar, Liechtenstein 2-2 Armenia

Tuesday 20 November

League A, Group 3: Portugal 1-1 Poland
B2: Sweden 2-0 Russia
C1: Scotland 3-2 Israel
C4: Serbia 4-1 Lithuania, Montenegro 0-1 Romania
D3: Malta 1-1 Faroe Islands, Kosovo 4-0 Azerbaijan

Ups and downs so far

League A
Finals: Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal, England
Relegated: Germany, Iceland, Poland, Croatia

League B
Promoted: Ukraine, Sweden, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Denmark
Relegated: Slovakia, Turkey, N Ireland, Rep of Ireland

League C
Promoted: Scotland, Finland, Norway, Serbia
Relegated: Estonia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Cyprus

League D
Promoted: Georgia, Belarus, Kosovo, Macedonia

And here’s what the Netherlands, and indeed England, have to look forward to next summer:

When are they taking place?

The four-team knockout tournament begins on 5 June 2019 with the semi-finals. The final (and third-place play-off) will be played on 9 June

Who has qualified?

The four League A group winners: England, Portugal, Switzerland and Netherlands, who sealed their place with a dramatic late comeback to draw with Germany. England are the highest-ranked team (No 5 in the world), followed by Portugal (7), Switzerland (8) and Netherlands (15)

Where are they taking place?

The games will be held in Portugal, with Porto's Estádio de Dragão and Vitória's stadium in Guimarães the likely venues. Italy and Poland also applied, with Portugal earning the right to host by topping Group A3 ahead of those two teams

Who plays who in the semis?

The draw for the one-leg semi-finals at 1.30pm GMT in Dublin on 3 December, the day after the Irish capital stages the Euro 2020 qualifying draw.

What do the winners receive?

The inaugural Nations League winners will receive an elaborate trophy (pictured above), as well as a total prize pot of €10.5m (£9.36m). The winners will not qualify for Euro 2020 automatically, however

Elsewhere in the Nations League, Denmark drew 0-0 with the Republic of Ireland in Group B4. Denmark had already won the group. It’s 396 minutes since Ireland’s last goal. No wonder they finished bottom. Anyway that’s all from me. Thanks for reading and emailing. Bye.


That was quite funny. Germany were vastly superior for most of the match and looked to have salvaged some pride after their relegation to Division B, only for the Netherlands to wipe out their 2-0 lead with late goals from Quincy Promes and Virgil Van Dijk, whose equaliser takes the Dutch into next summer’s finals.

The Nations League, bloody hell. Has there ever been such a dramatic competition?

Virgil Van Dijk’s last-minute equaliser means the Netherlands finish with seven points from four games. They take first place off France because of their superior head-to-head record and will join England, Portugal and Switzerland at next summer’s finals, which will be held in Portugal in June.

Full-time! Germany 2-2 Netherlands

That’s it! The Netherlands have fought back from the brink and have earned the point that sees them snatch the final spot at next summer’s Nations League finals!

90 min+3: This is hilarious. The Dutch have been terrible.

90 min+1: There will be four added minutes. The Dutch fans, decked out in orange, are finally making all the noise.

The Netherlands decide it’s time to go long in search of an equaliser. Virgil Van Dijk, up from the back, makes a nuisance of himself and wins the first header. Hummels heads it away, but Vilhena collects on the right. He makes room for a cross and when it’s flicked on at the near post, Van Dijk’s waiting in the middle to cushion a firm volley past Neuer! The Dutch are going to the Nations League finals!

GOAL! Germany 2-2 Netherlands (Van Dijk, 90 min)

They’ve done it! Incredible!

Virgil Van Dijk cushions a volley home for the late equaliser.
Virgil Van Dijk cushions a volley home for the late equaliser. Photograph: Boris Streubel/Getty Images


87 min: Goretzka combines with Reus, who plays a brilliant pass to Kehrer with the outside of his right foot, only for the wing-back to drag a tame effort wide.

Leon Goretzka gets caught trying to play out from the back, allowing the Netherlands to press on the edge of the area. De Roon finds Quincy Promes, who shifts the ball on to his right foot before shaping a fine effort to Neuer’s left from 18 yards. The Dutch have at least five minutes to find a goal that would take them into the Nations League finals!

GOAL! Germany 2-1 Netherlands (Promes, 85 min)

It’s not over yet!

Quincy Promes curls the ball home.
Quincy Promes curls the ball home. Photograph: Boris Streubel/Getty Images


81 min: Schulz sees his goalbound volley deflected wide.

80 min: Leon Goretzka replaces Leroy Sane.

78 min: Depay surges down the left, skips round Hummels and lets fly with a shot that Neuer saves at his near post. Corner.

74 min: “Holland are playing this as if it’s a meaningless friendly,” Kari Tulinius says. “Somehow that this is at least notionally meaningful and they seem to have given up with more than twenty minutes to go makes it worse than watching a meaningless friendly.”

72 min: Muller clips a lovely pass over the top to Reus, completely slicing the Dutch defence open. It should lead to a third goal, but Reus’s ball into the six-yard box is behind Sane, who can’t sort out his feet in time.

68 min: Kimmich picks up a booking for dragging back Promes.

67 min: Serge Gnabry makes way for Thomas Muller, who’s on for his 100th cap.

Thomas Muller on for his 100th cap.
Thomas Muller on for his 100th cap. Photograph: Friedemann Vogel/EPA


66 min: Diloresen, who replaced the injured Babel, is limping now. On comes Luuk de Jong.

63 min: Marco Reus replaces Timo Werner.

62 min: Germany clear Depay’s free-kick and launch a speedy counterattack, Gnabry releasing Werner. The striker’s through on goal, but he scuffs wide of the left post.

60 min: Tonny Vilhena replaces Georginio Wijnaldum.

59 min: Hummels lose out to Depay, but Sule steps in to stop the striker just inside the Germany area. The Romanian referee sees nothing wrong with the challenge.

56 min: Promes cuts inside from the left and shoots straight at Neuer from 20 yards. At least Germany’s goalkeeper has made a save.

55 min: Neuer decisively punches Depay’s free-kick away.

53 min: Werner tries to run at De Ligt on the left, but the defender stands up and forces the Germany striker to take the ball out of play.

51 min: Kroos pulls Depay’s shirt on the halfway line. That’s a yellow card.

48 min: It’s all Germany.

46 min: The Netherlands get the second half underway. They need two goals to make the finals. But they make a sloppy start, giving the ball away far too easily straight away. They breathe a sigh of relief when Werner shoots straight at Cillessen from the right of the area. That was a good chance.

Half-time: Germany 2-0 Netherlands

The first half ends with Germany in control thanks to excellent goals from Timo Werner and Leroy Sane. As it stands France will be going to the Nations League finals instead of the Netherlands, who have been a massive disappointment.

45 min: Babel limps to the touchline and makes way for Javairo Dilrosun.

Ryan Babel has made way for Dilrosun.
Ryan Babel has made way for Dilrosun. Photograph: Simon Hofmann - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images


43 min: Sane somehow wriggles along the right goalline, the ball glued to his twinkling feet, but he can’t quite tee up Gnabry. Up the other end, Babel goes down with a hamstring injury. It looks like his night’s over.

40 min: Werner feeds the overlapping Schulz on the left, but Gnabry glances the wing-back’s cross wide at the near post.

39 min: Toni Kroos has been magnificent so far.

37 min: The ball runs to Sane on the edge of the area after a turn from Gnabry. The Netherlands are in trouble again. Or so it seems. Sane’s shot is blocked. Moments later Wijnaldum’s booked for barging into Kimmich.

36 min: Ronald Koeman won’t be pleased with how easy it’s been for Kroos and Kimmich to run the show in midfield. His players haven’t been close enough to them. “Not just the pettiness of getting one over on their rivals that’s at stake for Germany tonight, but also seedings for the Euro 2020 qualifiers,” Simon Cook says. “Lose tonight, and as one of the relegated teams with the worst record in the competition, they’d probably miss out on being seeded for the qualifiers, which would make them a dangerous floater in Pot 2.... so to speak.”

34 min: Blind curls in a cross from the left and the stretching Sule, trying to stop it from reaching Depay, steers a header against his own bar and over for a corner. An escape for Germany. They have luck on their side tonight.

32 min: The Netherlands piece together a neat move down the right, prompting Schulz to pull Tete down. Depay’s free-kick is a waste of time, though.

30 min: Gnabry shoots straight at Cillessen from 18 yards.

29 min: De Roon wins a corner for the Netherlands on the right. It leads to nothing. Neuer hasn’t made a save yet.

28 min: “I always loved that Van Basten goal to beat Germany in Euro 88,” Niall Mullen says. “He always seemed so elegant and totally in control that he made a sliding finish like that into a thing of beauty that has stayed with me for 30 (thirty) years.”

25 min: The Netherlands look shocked at the moment. It’s been a disaster for them so far. They could hardly have made a worse start to such an important game.

23 min: As it stands, the Dutch are totally effed.

Under little pressure, Toni Kroos is allowed to look up on the halfway line and send a lovely pass over the top of the increasingly dismal Dutch defence. Leroy Sane’s peeled behind De Ligt, who doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going, and the Germany winger’s allowed to take the ball down, turn and shoot with his left foot from 18 yards. His effort skids off Tete and that’s enough to take it skidding into the bottom left corner, leaving the Netherlands with a mountain to climb.

GOAL! Germany 2-0 Netherlands (Sane, 20 min)

Germany are back.

Leroy Sane fires in the second for the hosts.
Leroy Sane fires in the second for the hosts. Photograph: Boris Streubel/Getty Images


18 min: The pitch is very bad. The ball is bouncing around all over the place.

15 min: The ball’s on the right of the D. It looks like it’s there for the left-footed Daley Blind to hit, only for Depay to whip a disappointing effort straight into the wall.

14 min: Kroos concedes possession with a poor pass inside his own half. Hummels panics and scythes Promes down on the edge of the Germany area. He’s booked.

13 min: A free kick to the Netherlands on the right, Schulz conceding it. Sule heads De Jong’s dangerous delivery behind for a corner. Nothing comes from it.

11 min: As it stands, France are going to next summer’s finals instead of the Netherlands. The Dutch will finish second unless they score.

This is outstanding from Timo Werner! Toni Kroos zips a pass to Serge Gnabry, who flicks the ball on to Werner. The striker struggled so much at the World Cup, but this is a demonstration of what he can do. He nods the ball into his stride and then, with the Dutch defence all over the place, slams a low, bouncing drive to Jasper Cillessen’s right from 25 yards! Germany have the lead and the Netherlands are up against it now.

Timo Werner fires in the opening goal.
Timo Werner fires in the opening goal. Photograph: Martin Meissner/AP


GOAL! Germany 1-0 Netherlands (Werner, 9 min)

This is a magnificent goal!

8 min: The visitors, remember, don’t need to win. They’re happy enough not to commit too many men forward at the moment.

7 min: Germany try to counter, but De Roon cuts out a long ball to Sane, who would have been away.

5 min: Kimmich advances down the right and finds Kehrer, who wins Germany’s first corner. Van Dijk heads Kroos’s cross away.


4 min: You’ll remember that Germany lost 3-0 in Amsterdam last month. It really hasn’t been their year.

2 min: Germany are playing a back three tonight. Don’t they know England have gone back to 4-3-3? Keep up, lads.

Peep! Germany, in white shirts and black shorts, get the game underway. They’re kicking from left to right in the first half and they’re quickly on the front foot, Werner turning cleverly and freeing Kehrer on the right. The right wing-back has space in the Netherlands area, but he fires high and wide.


We’ve had the anthems. We’ve had the handshakes. We’ll have some football!

The teams are out. Time for the anthems!



Team news

Germany: Neuer: Rudiger, Hummels, Sule; Kehrer, Kimmich, Kroos, Schulz; Gnabry, Werner, Sane.

Netherlands: Cillessen; Tete, Van Dijk, De Ligt, Blind; De Jong, De Roon, Wijnaldum; Promes, Depay, Babel.

Referee: Ovidiu Haţegan (Romania).

Leroy Sané starts for Germany.
Leroy Sané starts for Germany. Photograph: Simon Hofmann - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images



Hello. Some people say that football is all about glory and honour. Those people are wrong. Because the human race is a terrible species, the unspoken truth is that football is really all about making your enemies as miserable as you are. There’s no problem that can’t be solved by ruining someone else’s fun, just for the sheer hell of it, which is why Joachim Low’s ailing side can go a long way towards repairing their standing in the eyes of the German public by stopping the Netherlands from snatching the final qualifying spot for the Nations League finals tonight.

It’s not that beating the Dutch would make all of Germany’s problems disappear at once. This has been a year of unprecedented incompetence for Die Mannschaft. As if crashing out of the first round of the World Cup for the first time since 1938 wasn’t bad enough, now they’ve gone and been relegated from Division A of the Nations League with a game to spare! It’s been quite the fall from grace for the 2014 world champions, whose fate was sealed when the Netherlands beat France on Friday night. This evening, however, they can put all the arguments about their worrying slide to one side. Germany are playing for something more important than pride. This isn’t about finishing 2018 on a high: it’s about the pettiness of getting one over on one of their fiercest rivals.

For the Netherlands, the thought of partying on German soil is almost too good to be true. They’re on the up again after missing the last two international tournaments and Ronald Koeman’s resurgent side are a victory away from reaching next summer’s festivities in Portugal. They were deserved winners against France in Rotterdam three days ago, defeating the world champions thanks to goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay, and a draw will be enough for them to join England, Portugal and Switzerland at next summer’s finals. The only thing that can stop them – and send France to Portugal instead – is a Germany win. The potential for immaturity is clear.

Kick-off: 7.45pm GMT.