Soccer / tactical analysis
Ronald Koeman's Tactical Masterpiece
You've all seen it, either on television or here on Scorum, the national football team of the Netherlands is back on track! After beating Germany 3-0 and France 2-0, only a draw against Germany in the away game was going to be enough to reach the final four of the UEFA Nations League. The Match Before the match in the Arena Auf Schalke in Gelsenkirchen started there were a few surprises. Denzel Dumfries was not in the starting eleven as he was replaced by Kenny Tete. Steven Bergwijn who was also playing against France a couple of days ago was not fit enough to start today and a result he was replaced by Quincy Promes. The start of the match was dramatic as Serge Gnabry set up Timo Werner after nine minutes into the game. Werner volleyed the ball into the net behind Jasper Cillessen from about 20 meters distance. Germany was leading and about ten minutes later they doubled the score when Toni Kroos sent Leroy Sané away with a sublime pass, 2-0. This seemed to be not the day for the Netherlands. In the second half, Germany even had several chances to score the third goal, but that did not happen. Nothing was suggesting that the Netherlands could come back into the game, especially not with only ten minutes left to play. With this result, France would top the group and the Netherlands would stay second. Germany's chances of avoiding relegation were already gone when "Oranje" won against France. Ronald Koeman's note Six minutes before the end of the 90 minutes, pretty much out of nothing Quincy Promes scored a goal, bringing the score to 2-1. What happened after that could have been a scene from the comic strip "Roy of the Rovers", but it really happened. Dutch coach Ronald Koeman handed over a piece of paper to Kenny Tete, who passed it on to Matthijs de Ligt, who then delivered it to Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk (see video below). The piece of paper was a note from Koeman to Van Dijk, telling him that he should give up his defensive task for the remainder of the game in an aim to try and score the important goal that they needed to secure the group win. Van Dijk understood it, moved forward and stayed forward like he was an extra striker brought in from the bench. Source: NOS The Goal It was already in the extra time when Tonny Vilhena crossed the ball into the box. One of the German defenders hit the ball with his head, but the ball still ended up with Van Dijk, who didn't hesitate and sent the ball into the goal behind Manuel Neuer. The final result of the match was 2-2, with Virgil van Dijk being the savior. Ronald Koeman's tactical change delivered on a small note was a match-deciding moment. Ex-footballer Ronald de Boer saw Virgil van Dijk throwing the note on the pitch after the match and took it, showing it on television during the post-match analyses. Koeman later would not take the credit for the note. He explained that it came from assistant coaches Kees van Wonderen and Dwight Lodeweges who had been pushing to make changes during the second half. When Promes scored the 2-1 Lodeweges gave the note to Koeman. Source: Voetbalzone Final Four As a result, the Netherlands have qualified for the final four to be held in June 2019. That stage of the Nations League will be organized by Portugal, which is one of the competitors of the Dutch that tournament. The others will be England and Switzerland, after surprisingly beating Belgium 5-2 yesterday to win that group.