Netherlands 2-3 Germany: Germany leave it late in five-goal thriller
Germany win 3-2 against the Netherlands in Amsterdam in European Qualifiers
By Frederick Clayton
Last Updated: 25/03/19 2:46pm
Germany secured a thrilling 3-2 win over the Netherlands after the Oranje fought back from two goals behind in their European Qualifier in Amsterdam on Sunday night.
Leroy Sane (15) opened the scoring with a well-taken finish after a fine first touch inside the box, but Serge Gnabry (34) stole the first-half show after cutting inside Virgil van Dijk to whip a wonderful ball into the top corner for 2-0.
The Dutch were transformed in the second half and Matthijs De Ligt (48) pulled one back with a leaping header, before Memphis Depay (63) found an equaliser from inside the box after pinball football flummoxed the German defence.
Netherlands: Cillessen (5), Dumfries (6), Blind (6), Van Dijk (5), De Ligt (7), De Roon (6), Frenkie (7), Wijnaldum (6), Babel (5), Promes (6), Memphis (8)
Subs: De Jong (5), Bergwijn (5)
Germany: Neuer (8), Schulz (8), Sule (6), Rudiger (5), Ginter (5), Kehrer (6), Kimmich (6), Kroos (7), Goretska (7), Gnabry (8), Sane (7)
Subs: Reus (7), Gundogan (6)
Man of the match: Serge Gnabry
But Nico Schulz (90) won it for Germany at the death, ensuring a perfect start to their Euro 2020 campaign while stopping an in-form Netherlands in their tracks.
Germany boss Joachim Low fielded a young side in an unorthodox formation, but put traditional tactics to the sword with a brilliant first-half performance.
His side took the lead when a marauding Schulz found Sane inside the box, whose first touch bamboozled De Ligt, giving him the space to fire home from eight yards.
The Dutch had two excellent chances to equalise but Manuel Neuer produced two excellent saves to deny Ryan Babel who failed to find the corners from close range.
And Gnabry punished Babel's poor finishing with the kind of strike that had eluded his opposite number. Gnabry cut inside Van Dijk and De Ligt, before bending an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
Ronald Koeman made just one change to his Netherlands side as Quincy Promes came in for Steven Bergwijn. Joachim Low made six changes to the side that drew with Serbia, with Marco Reus on the bench due to injury.
But the Netherlands emerged a different side in the second half, and pulled one back almost immediately as De Ligt rose highest to meet an excellent cross from Depay.
Depay then grabbed the equaliser for himself after some chaotic German defending allowed him a yard of space to knock past Neuer, setting up a tense finale in Amsterdam.
And the Netherlands had looked the more likely to win it until substitute Marcos Reus found Schulz in the box to strike the winner past Jasper Cillessen.
Man of the match: Serge Gnabry
Hotly contested between Serge Gnabry and Memphis Depay, but Gnabry's goal just about steals it, a brilliant finish. He caused chaos all evening against the very best defenders.
Germany travel to Belarus when the European Qualifiers kick off again in June, while Netherlands face England in the semi-finals of the UEFA Nations League in Portugal.