The Netherlands have opened their World Cup qualifying campaign with a point after drawing 1-1 in Sweden.

  • By Michael Statham
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Wesley Sneijder equalised for the Oranje following Marcus Berg’s sublime chip for the Swedes. It could have been so much better for the away side but Bas Dost’s injury time header was disallowed for a very soft foul on defender Victor Lindelof.

Danny Blind’s men started the game in promising fashion. Davy Klaassen saw a great early chance saved by Swedish goalkeeper Robin Olsen after Kevin Strootman’s delightful dink over the defence found the Ajax captain.

Further intricate build-up lead to more opportunities for the Dutch, but Klaassen and Vincent Janssen failed to score.

The visitors were made to pay for their misses just before half-time, when the first real opening for Sweden arose from sloppy play by Strootman. Former Groningen and PSV striker Marcus Berg seized upon the ball and lifted it over Jeroen Zoet.

The second half began much like the first, with the Dutch dominating the possession and chances. Klaassen had another header palmed away, Sneijder sliced over when well placed and Promes also missed the target.

The equaliser came for the Dutch when Daryl Janmaat cut in from the right-wing and had a blistering left-foot shot saved by Olsen, and Sneijder followed in to slot in the rebound.

The introduction of Bas Dost for the ineffective Georginio Wijnaldum almost proved inspired by Danny Blind as the Dutch searched for a winner. He was immediately into the action, as another ball over the top from Strootman found the big striker, only for the Sporting Lisbon man to lift his shot over the bar.

Dost was in the action again in injury time, but his excellently placed header was chalked off for a foul on Swedish defender Lindelof, and now the Dutch must look for three points in their next game against Belarus in October.

Michael Statham (741 Posts)

Writer/interviewer/YouTuber for Football-Oranje. Massive Dutch football fan from the UK. Follow me @EredivisieMike & subscribe to Football-Oranje on YouTube.