Wesley Sneijder has declared the Netherlands now need to win their final three qualifiers or miss out in the European Championships after Thursday’s surprise home loss to Iceland.
The experienced midfielder also believes Bruno Martins Indi’s sending off in the first half changed the course of the Group A qualifier. The Oranje defender was shown a straight red in the 33rd minute following a strong challenge on Iceland’s Kolbeinn Sigthorsson.
Holland then gave away a penalty after the re-start which Gylfi Sigurdsson converted to hand Iceland a shock upset in Amsterdam.
To make matters worse, captain Arjen Robben is set for a month on the sidelines after he limped out of the defeat 28 minutes in with a groin complaint. Sunderland midfielder Jeremain Lens has been called up as a replacement for tomorrow’s make or break clash against Turkey.
“If we don’t win our last three games then we are not going to be in France,” Sneijder said. “There was nothing to worry about until that red card [against Iceland]. We also gave a penalty away. It is upsetting.
“They changed nothing in their playing style but for us to be down to 10 men it was very hard. It got worse when we conceded the penalty. We should have never put ourselves in that position.”
Iceland can now win the group if they beat Kazakhstan tomorrow but new Dutch coach Danny Blind still has a mountain to climb. The Netherlands are in third place, eight points behind leaders Iceland and Czech Republic in second.
“The first two places are gone,” Blind said, admitting that Iceland and the Czechs would now go through. “We must now be sure that we get through via the play-offs.”
It’s make or break for Turkey, too, after their 1-1 with Latvia on Thursday saw their chances of qualifying directly for the European Championships from Group A all but vanish.
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