Netherlands U21’s are on the verge of failing to qualify for the European Championships next year after a 2-0 loss to Portugal in Alkmaar.

111nedu21After losing their last two group games and finishing second, Adrie Koster’s side need to overcome Portugal over two legs to qualify for next summers tournament in the Czech Republic, but there chances were given a huge blow in Alkmaar.

Netherlands began the game brightly with Elvis Manu hitting the underside of the crossbar after only three minutes, but Portgual, who won all their group matches, began to take control of possession as the half wore on. On the stroke of half time Feyenoord defender Sven van Beek fouled Bernado Silva in the box, and Sergio Oliviera made no mistake from the spot to deservedly make it 1-0 to the visitors.

Netherlands could find a response in the second half, and were instead on the back-foot, with Warner Hahn having to make a number of saves to keep the scoreline down. However Hahn could do nothing with ten minutes to go when Carlos Mane raced through the Dutch defence before curling into the bottom corner.

The Dutch now travel to Portugal on Tuesday, but their chances of turning the score around look slim, and they look set to miss not only the U21 Euros, but also the chance to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.

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