The chances of Netherlands U21’s qualifying automatically for the European U21 championships looks unlikely after a 2-2 draw with Belarus U21’s in Minsk.

  • By Michael Bell
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grim freFred Grim’s side went into the tie three points behind group leaders Slovakia, who face Cyprus next week, and were hoping to put pressure on the Slovaks with a win in Minsk. However, after only 18 minutes Jong Oranje were behind with┬áPavel Savitsky netting from the spot after Jean-Paul Boetius was penalised for a handball in the box.

Netherlands pushed for an equaliser but struggled to create chances and had to wait until the second half to equalise as Anwar El Ghazi headed in Ricardo Kishna’s cross.

The home side quickly found themselves back in front after some shocking marking from the Dutch. A free kick was headed towards the back post by Nathan Ake where three unmarked Belarus attackers lay in wait and eventually Savitsky fired in from close range. A minute later Netherlands equalised again with Derrick Luckassen heading in from a corner.

A late push for a winner didn’t materialise for Netherlands as Belarus took the initiative and went close from two free kicks on the edge of the box. The draw leaves Netherlands two points behind Slovakia with only two games left for Grim’s side, who are most likely hoping to be one of the top four best runner’s up.

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