Oct 7, 2017 at 7.45pm UK
Belarus
1-3
Netherlands
Volodjko (55')
Balanovich (35'), Signevich (58'), Rios (76')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Propper (24'), Robben (84'), Depay (93')
Janmaat (58'), Wijnaldum (60')

Result: Late Arjen Robben penalty keeps faint Netherlands World Cup hopes alive

Netherlands score twice in the final 10 minutes to earn a 3-1 win in Belarus which keeps their slim hopes of World Cup qualification just about alive.

Netherlands have seen their hopes of qualifying for next summer's World Cup in Russia take a blow despite earning a late 3-1 victory over Belarus at the Borisov Arena this evening.

Dick Advocaat's side went into the match playing catch-up following Sweden's dominant 8-0 drubbing of Luxembourg earlier in the day, leaving Netherlands needing a victory and a hatful of goals to leave themselves with a realistic chance of finishing in the top two.

The win means that they now trail second-placed Sweden by three points ahead of Tuesday's home tie against the Scandinavians, but the prospect of bridging the 12-goal gap in goal difference means that qualification is highly unlikely.

It looked as though Holland's chances would be ended this evening when Maksim Volodjko cancelled out Davy Propper's opener, but late strikes from Arjen Robben and Memphis Depay mean that they will at least go into the final matchday with a faint mathematical chance of earning a place in the playoffs.

The visitors almost took the lead midway through the first half when Vincent Janssen found space on the edge of the box before unleashing a powerful strike with minimum backlift which crashed against the crossbar with the keeper beaten.

Netherlands would not have to wait much longer for the opening goal, though, as Ryan Babel's deep cross found Robben, who in turn knocked it back for Propper to blast into the roof of the net.

Advocaat's side had won four of their last five outings coming into this match, but they struggled to add to their lead in the first half as Tonny Vilhena and Janssen both failed to make the most of presentable chances.

Janssen was again denied by goalkeeper Sergey Chernik early in the second half, before Belarus fired a warning shot when Sergey Balanovich forced Jasper Cillessen into his first serious piece of action.

It was a warning Netherlands did not heed, though, and Belarus stunned their visitors moments later when Balanovich slipped in Volodjko, who drilled an unerring finish across goal and into the bottom far corner.

Knowing that only victory would set up a straight shootout for second place with Sweden on Tuesday, Netherlands went in search of a second goal but Propper found Chernik in fine form before Bas Dost fired wide.

The second breakthrough finally came in the 84th minute, though, as Michael Oliver pointed to the spot for a foul by Nikolai Signevich, allowing Robben to dispatch the resulting penalty.

Aleksandar Karnitsky squandered a good chance to peg the visitors back once again in the second minute of stoppage time, being denied by a fine Cillessen save which allowed Netherlands to fight another day.

Advocaat's side were also able to reduce the goal difference deficit with a third late on as Depay got in on the act with a fine free kick in the third minute of stoppage time.

Netherlands will now host Sweden on Tuesday looking to achieve the unlikely margin of victory needed to sneak into second place in Group A, whereas Sweden only need to avoid a remarkably heavy defeat to at least make it into the playoffs.

Share this article now:
Virgil van Dijk is loving life after the Premier League game between Crystal Palace and Southampton on September 16, 2017
Read Next:
Van Dijk called up to Netherlands squad
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27233179205972
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd27175551193256
3Liverpool27159361313054
4Chelsea27165649232653
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs27157552242852
6Arsenal27136851361545
7Burnley279992124-336
8Leicester CityLeicester2798103940-135
9Everton2797113246-1434
10Bournemouth2787123141-1031
11Watford2786133747-1030
12West Ham UnitedWest Ham2779113446-1230
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2777132536-1128
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton27610112236-1428
15Crystal Palace2769122542-1727
16Swansea CitySwansea2776142037-1727
17Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2776142347-2427
18Southampton27511112840-1226
19Stoke CityStoke2767142753-2625
20West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom27311132140-1920
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in with Facebook to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account