Liverpool star hails Dutch fighting spirit against Germany

Croatia will be seeded for the EURO 2020 qualifying draw

After the final whistle, the Liverpool defender delayed celebrating his side reaching the semi-finals of the tournament to console Hategan, who was in a flood of tears.

Ovidiu Hategan, 38, officiated Monday's game between the Netherlands and Germany in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, even though his mother died in the "build-up to the match", according to BBC News.

The pair exchanged words, before Van Dijk put his arm around the match official and pulled him into a tight embrace.

"He told me his mom recently passed away".

"I wished him strength and said that he had 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.

What a specimen Van Dijk is: taller than you, quicker than you, more intelligent and more consummate on the ball than you, a goal threat and, more importantly, a thoroughly nice chap.


Germany had taken a two-goal lead, before Quincy Promes and van Dijk struck back in the last ten minutes.

'And in the end it's fantastic that the equaliser came from the guy who was told on the note to push up front'.

It means of the four semi-finalists at the tournament in Russian Federation only one - England - have qualified for the Nations League knockouts next summer.

Switzerland also secured its place at the finals with a 5-2 drubbing of Belgium to join European champion Portugal, which qualified thanks to a 0-0 draw with Italy to top group A3. We've only seen each other three weeks in total since the World Cup.

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

Speaking about the late Dutch comeback, Low said: "This kind of thing seems to be the story of our entire year".

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