Nico Schulz got the 2014 World Champions off to a winning start in their Euro 2020 Qualifying campaign, scoring a last-minute winner in their Euro 2020 Group C game in Amsterdam.
Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman says he regrets not making late defensive changes as Nico Schulz’s goal ensured Joachim Low’s side gained revenge over their hosts, who had scored two late goals against Germany in November to reach the Nation’s League finals.
“I wanted to bring in Nathan Ake for Quincy Promes to get the point. Maybe I should have done that,” Koeman told Dutch broadcaster NOS.
“We got chances for 3-2 and when you are on the field, you can feel that 3-2 is in it. In the final phase, the last two to three minutes, Germany became more dangerous.”
Leroy Sane confidently slotted in the opener following Matthijs de Ligt’s slip and Serge Gnabry curled in a superb second to put the visitors in the ascendency.
De Ligt’s header and Memphis Depay’s drilled effort in the second period drew the Dutch level but midfielder Schulz stroked in late on.
“What pleases me is that the team never lost the belief that they could win the game, and in the end we got our reward,” Low said.
Koeman’s team, who have also played twice, drop to third place following their agonising loss against Germany, who have only played once.
Germany are looking to begi a new era after a shock group-stage exit at the 2018 World Cup, dismissing with the services of experienced Bayern Munich trio Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels earlier this month.
They were much the better team in the first half, scoring twice including ex-Arsenal winger Gnabry’s sublime strike, and Manchester City’s Sane and defender Thilo Kehrer saw efforts well saved by Jasper Cillessen.
The Netherlands have struggled in recent years, failing to qualify for Euro 2016 and last summer’s World Cup, and have improved since the appointment of ex-Southampton and Everton boss Koeman, but this was a setback.
In other games, Northern Ireland top Group C after beating Belarus 2-1 at Windsor Park to add to their 2-0 win over Estonia in their opening qualifier.
By Olukayode Oniwinde