Netherlands eliminated from World Cup contention despite win
Netherlands 2 - 0 Sweden

Netherlands eliminated from World Cup contention despite win

10/10/2017

Sweden secured a spot in the UEFA World Cup qualifying playoffs despite losing 2-0 to Netherlands, whose elimination was confirmed.

After finishing third at the 2014 World Cup, the Dutch missed out on a second straight major tournament after also failing to qualify for Euro 2016.

Netherlands needed to win by seven goals to climb above their visitors into second place in Group A but instead finish third on goal difference.

Netherlands came out on the front foot and took the lead in the 16th minute after Victor Lindelof was penalised for handling the ball in the box.

Dutch defender Kenny Tete and midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum both squandered good chances in the first half and Ryan Babel came close with a long-range free kick.

Arjen Robben took the resulting spot kick and almost messed up the Panenka finish as the ball dribbled over the line past the outstretched boot of goalkeeper Robin Olsen.

Robben then doubled the advantage five minutes from the break with a spectacular first-time effort from the edge of the box, but Sweden held firm in the second half to move on.

To add to the Dutch disappointment, star winger Arjen Robben announced his retirement from international football after the game.

As the final whistle sounded, the crowd rose to give Robben a standing ovation, chanting, "Arjen, thanks" in Dutch.

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