‘England have problems in centre pitch’ – Koeman

The Netherlands took advantage of two sloppy defensive mistakes by England in extra time to earn a 3-1 win in the semi-finals of the Nations League on Thursday, extending England’s run of more than five decades without a trophy.

An own goal by Kyle Walker gave the Dutch the lead after John Stones gave the ball away in the first half of extra time, and Ross Barkley then misplayed a back pass to gift the Netherlands a third goal in the 114th minute.

Speaking at the post-match presser, Ronald Koeman the Netherlands manager had this to say about his team’s performance:

“Well, essentially it was a positive performance. I think we had the control of the match from the very outset. At the same time, I also feel we were moving to the side too quickly and we should have been looking to the centre of the field because this is where England have some problems. I also think that our last ball was sloppy, not right.”

Then you see what happens. Unfortunately after our own mistake there was the penalty. However, we didn’t lose our calm afterwards. We have believed in the best outcome in every single moment.

“There was one single moment in the second half with a very close header that could have finished the game. But I think that besides that moment we were the better team. We had more possession and more attempts. In the extra-time, we managed to beat them.”

The Dutch will play the final of UEFA’s newest competition against hosts Portugal in Porto on Sunday, when they will try to lift their first trophy since the 1988 European Championship.

England, who were seeking their first title since the 1966 World Cup, will play Switzerland in the third-place game in Guimaraes, also on Sunday.

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