We were awful, says Holland’s Van Dijk after 2-2 draw against Montenegro

The Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk blasted his team’s second-half performance in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Montenegro as awful and outrageous as their World Cup hopes were left in the balance. 

The Dutch would have qualified for the finals in Qatar next year with a win in Podgorica and they were well set after a Memphis Depay double gave them a 2-0 lead. However, Ilija Vukotic marked his international debut with a goal in the 82nd minute to give the home side hope and four minutes later Nikola Vujnovic looped in a header to grab the draw. 

“The way we played in the second half was just outrageous,” Liverpool star Van Dijk told Dutch broadcaster NOS. “We always want to have the ball, we all want to play football, attack and score. But football is also knowing how to defend. That’s what we haven’t done tonight. Our organisation was just awful. We should have qualified here.” 

The Dutch still head Group G but are just two points ahead of Turkey, who put six past Gibraltar. They host Norway in Rotterdam on Tuesday in the final round of matches while Turkey travel to Montenegro.  “With all due respect to Montenegro, we should have won, certainly after taking a two-goal lead,” added Van Dijk. “Now we will play against Norway on Tuesday in an empty stadium [due to COVID-19 restrictions]. We must be much better than tonight.”

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