Netherlands World Cup Dream Dashed

Andrew Cummings
October 11, 2017

The Netherlands needed to win by a seven-goal margin to reach the playoffs but finished level on 19 points, behind Group A winners France, with the Swedes second on goal difference.

The Dutch already missed Euro 2016, which only happened in the 1980s when the "Oranje" missed out on the World Cups of 1982 and 1986 and the European Championships of 1984. He led the nation to a second-place finish in the '10 World Cup in South Africa and a third-place result in Brazil three years ago.

Tuesday's performance was vintage Robben.


Arjen Robben took the resulting spot kick and nearly messed up the Panenka finish as the ball dribbled over the line past the outstrecthed boot of goalkeeper Robin Olsen. The Dutch captain smashed in a cross by Ryan Babel in the 40th minute.

It was also going to be Robben who stepped up to take the penalty, but it didn't quite go to plan.

The 33-year-old represented his country at six major worldwide tournaments and is among their all-time top scorers with his two-goal haul taking him into a tie for fourth with Dennis Bergkamp.


After the final whistle, Robben completed a slow lap of honour with his two young sons, one of them netting a couple of goals with his left foot to roars from the crowd.

"Normally it would be attractive, but it is tough not to go to the World Cup", Robben said, as he ended a career that had many high points on a low.


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