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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Euro 2020 Qualifiers: Joachim Loew hails Germany’s win over Netherlands as boost for rebuilding process

Germany coach Joachim Loew hailed the last gasp victory over the Netherlands on Sunday as an important step in the rebuilding process for his team. Nico Schulz scored a last minute goal to hand Germany a 3-2 triumph at the Amsterdam Arena in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier as Loew looks to reconstruct a side who were world champions in 2014, but flopped badly in Russia last year.
They were then relegated from the UEFA Nations League after poor results in the second half of 2018. “A game like this belongs to the process which such a young team must go through,” Loew said after the match, where Germany were 2-0 up at halftime after goals from Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry but allowed the Dutch to come back and equalise.
“What I liked was that we believed in it again. The team showed terrific fight and we had a little of the game luck that we have been missing sometimes recently.
“In the first half we really played very, very well with the strikes putting together some very, very good processes.”
After halftime it was somewhat different, the coach added: “We fought and fought madly, but we did not play at the same level as in the first half.”
Germany’s next game is in Belarus on June 8 where the introduction of more young talent is expected. Loew dropped World Cup winners Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Mueller earlier this month saying the team needs to look to the future.
Mixed feelings for Dutch coach after cruel loss to Germany
Ronald Koeman walked away with mixed feelings after his youthful Netherlands team conceded a 90th-minute winner to Germany and were beaten 3-2 at home in their Euro 2020 qualifier on Sunday. After the Dutch had fought back from a two-goal halftime deficit, Koeman felt they could go on and win the game.
“I’m proud of the way we played in the second half. We were 2-0 down and in that situation you cannot sit back,” the Netherlands coach said. “We played really well to come back into the game but then, it would have been fairer if we had taken a point.”
Koeman said it was difficult to face the Germans in any match. “With Germany it can always go in any direction. In last year’s Nations League we beat them but it could easily have ended in a draw,” he said.
“Then we drew with them away and that could have easily ended up in defeat. Now we could have won but end up losing.
“That’s how close it has been between the two of us. I think we must take that as a compliment for the Dutch team.”
The excitement of the comeback was such that Koeman tore his trousers in celebrating Memphis Depay’s goal and appeared on Dutch television after the final whistle wearing a track suit.
“It was torn from the top to my ankles. It didn’t look too pretty. Not that I look much better now,” he joked. Koeman’s team next play in June’s Nations League finals in Portugal where they meet England in the semi-finals.
They began the Euro 2020 qualifying with a convincing 4-0 win over Belarus in Rotterdam and resume the campaign on Sept. 6, away in Germany.