By 90Min
November 20, 2018

Ronald Koeman has praised his team's character after the Netherlands staged a dramatic comeback against Germany in Gelsenkirchen on Monday, to secure qualification for the UEFA Nations League finals.

The Oranje were 2-0 down with five minutes left and their hopes of qualification for next summer's finals looked over, but goals from Quincy Promes and an injury-time leveller from defender Virgil van Dijk secured their place in Portugal next June.

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Speaking to UEFA, Koeman said: "The team showed character. We kept going. I didn't think we played well. Maybe at this stage it's too much for us to play two matches in such a short period of time against such high-quality opposition."

Koeman's side fell 2-0 down at half-time thanks to goals from Timo Werner and Leroy Sane and were second-best for long periods of the game, before the dramatic last five minutes.

"Let's not forget, this Germany is an excellent team, maybe even better than France. But we also showed that we can recover when playing opponents of this calibre," he added.

Koeman credited his assistants with the masterstroke that was moving defender Van Dijk up front ahead of the captain's decisive equaliser.

"I got that note from Dwight Lodeweges and Kees van Wonderen [his assistants]. When we were 2-0 down they asked me if we should change things around and I said yes. Next thing I knew I had the note. So I gave it to Kenny. And in the end it's fantastic that the equaliser came from the guy who was told on the note to push up front."

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The Netherlands will reflect on a season that has seen them escape from the international wilderness and won a group with 2 world champions, and has given the Dutch fans a reason to fall in love with the team again.

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