Virgil van Dijk struck a last-gasp equaliser as the Netherlands hit back from two down to draw 2-2 with Germany and reach the UEFA Nations League finals in the most dramatic fashion.
The Liverpool defender expertly hooked a volley into the corner at the death after Quincy Promes had given the visitors hope with a smart finish five minutes from the end.
It was hard on Germany, who had deservedly led through early first-half strikes from Timo Werner and Leroy Sane, who netted his first competitive goal for his country.
However, the sensational finale was perhaps a fitting end to Die Mannschaft’s annus horribilis and will surely heap more pressure on the under-fire Joachim Loew.
The result means Holland finish top of Group A1 and pip France courtesy of a better head-to-head record.
Oranje now join England, Switzerland and hosts Portugal in the pot for the draw for next summer’s finals on December 3.
What a difference a year makes.
Germany were the world champions with plenty of observers tipping them to go on and retain their title in Russia. Now, many are calling for a change of direction after a terrible year that saw them dumped out of the World Cup at the group stage and relegated from pool A1 in the Nations League. There’s no doubt Die Mannschaft have quality in their ranks, but some serious questions need to be addressed moving into 2019.
In contrast, the Dutch are on an upward curve after being completely rejuvenated under Koeman. The former Everton boss has created a real spirit in his squad and his new-look, exciting side have delivered way ahead of schedule. They had been in disarray after missing out on their second straight major tournament and going through a raft of different coaches. Now they suddenly appear to have a sense of purpose and belief, and will feel pride has been restored for a country of great footballing tradition.