AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Ronald Koeman walked away with mixed feelings after his youthful Netherlands team conceded a 90th-minute winner to Germany and were beaten 3-2 at home in their Euro 2020 qualifier on Sunday.
After the Dutch had fought back from a two-goal halftime deficit, Koeman felt they could go on and win the game.
“I’m proud of the way we played in the second half. We were 2-0 down and in that situation you cannot sit back,” the Netherlands coach said.
“We played really well to come back into the game but then, it would have been fairer if we had taken a point.”
Koeman said it was difficult to face the Germans in any match.
“With Germany it can always go in any direction. In last year’s Nations League we beat them but it could easily have ended in a draw,” he said.
“Then we drew with them away and that could have easily ended up in defeat. Now we could have won but end up losing.
“That’s how close it has been between the two of us. I think we must take that as a compliment for the Dutch team.”
The excitement of the comeback was such that Koeman tore his trousers in celebrating Memphis Depay’s goal and appeared on Dutch television after the final whistle wearing a track suit.
“It was torn from the top to my ankles. It didn’t look too pretty. Not that I look much better now,” he joked.
Koeman’s team next play in June’s Nations League finals in Portugal where they meet England in the semi-finals.
They began the Euro 2020 qualifying with a convincing 4-0 win over Belarus in Rotterdam and resume the campaign on Sept. 6, away in Germany.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson, editing by Ed Osmond)