Dutch draw against France, Xavi Simons goal is disallowed

Ousmane Dembele of Frankrijk and Xavi Simons of Holland in action. Photo: Koen van Weel ANP

The Dutch national football team withstood a heavy test against France in their second game of the European Championships in Leipzig on Friday evening, with the match ending in a goalless draw.

A goal in the 69th minute from Xavi Simons was disallowed by the referee Anthony Taylor, who said Denzel Dumfries had hindered the French keeper. But the decision was disputed by pundits, despite the use of the VAR.

France were also without star player Kylian Mbappé, who has a broken nose and spent the match on the bench.

“I’m disappointed, but also proud of the way the team gave their everything today, especially the way we defended and tried to keep a clean sheet,” Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk told the Uefa website after the game.

“Obviously you always know that with the quality they have they could create dangerous moments. They did, but you still have to have that resilience of keeping going, keeping defending.”

“It’s always complicated to come up against a team like France,” coach Ronald Koeman said. “We want to play our style of football and be audacious, but we can’t lose the ball like we did this evening. We need to be quicker in how we react and create more chances up front. We’re a team that still needs to grow.”

Both Oranje and France now have four points from two games, and one foot in the knock-out competition.

Oranje meet Austria on Tuesday, while France take on Poland, who are already out, after two defeats.

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