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Euro 2024: ‘Netherlands got what we deserved’ – Koeman

Defeat to Austria sees Dutch limp through as one of best third-placed finishers and could pair them with England

Ronald Koeman

Dutch head coach Ronald Koeman admitted his Netherlands side got exactly what they deserved against Austria – nothing!

On the 36th anniversary of winning the European Championship on German soil, the Netherlands were outclassed in Berlin by an Austria side who looked more energetic and organised than the Dutch.

Ralf Rangnick’s side went ahead after just six minutes and even though the Dutch battled back after the break, they raised their game at the crucial moments to ensure it was they who claimed the three points to finish top of Group D, ahead of France, while Koeman’s side had to settle for qualifying for the Round of 16 as one of the four best third-placed finishers.

“We started very badly in many aspects – there were many openings for the opponent,” admitted Koeman to “We were not aggressive and there was a lack of pressure on the opponents.

“It was very bad. We did not control the match early. Later on we performed slightly better and we had a few opportunities, but they punished us.

“We have to take responsibility on the pitch. We are not entitled to get a better result.”

England could be waiting in the knockout stages if they top Group C and Koeman – a former Southampton and Everton manager – added: “We knew before the match that if we finish third we would get a big nation in the next round. We will wait and see what happens.”

Picture of Alex Hoad

Alex Hoad

Alex has more than 15 years' experience in sports journalism and has reported on multiple Olympics, World Cups and European Championships in additional to Champions League, Europa League and domestic football.