Virgil van Dijk admits Netherlands have a long way to go

Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk has said that the team have a long way to go after they succumbed to a 3-2 European qualifier defeat to Germany. The Germans were the dominant side in the first period as they secured a 2-0 lead, but the advantage was nullified after the break with Matthijs de Ligt and Memphis Depay levelling the scores.

However, that was not sufficient to secure them a point on the night after Nico Schulz came up with a late 90th-minute winner for the Germans. Speaking after the game, Van Dijk acknowledged that the Dutch outfit still have work to do before they can compete efficiently with some of Europe’s elite nations.

He told NOS: “We knew we have a long way to go and tonight proved that. We came back so well and then you should grab a point at least. Too bad it didn’t work out that way. We had difficulties in the first half. They had a lot of movement and we weren’t organised well. We improved a lot in the second half when Frenkie de Jong played more from midfield.”

“Despite the negative outcome, there were plenty of positives with regards to the second half performance" where they managed to restrain the German threat on most occasions. Elsewhere, Memphis Depay was once more impressive for the nation with a goal and an assist and he appears to be finally finding the consistency “while leading the attack" .

Netherlands’ next competitive game comes against England during the semi-final stage of the Nations League in June. The Three Lions have been one of the most improved teams over the past year and the Dutch may need to produce the best to progress to the final where they could face one of Portugal or Switzerland at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto.