Depay says Oranje have 'turned the corner' after draw in Belgium

Memphis Depay has hailed the 1-1 draw with Belgium in Tuesday's international friendly as proof that the 3-0 victory against Germany was not a one-off result. 'There is no going back for us. We have turned the corner and things can only get better,' said the Olympique Lyonnais striker, who was singled out for praise by head coach Ronald Koeman: 'A terrific player who is still developing.' The Dutch went behind to an early goal by Dries Mertens, but equalised through PSV's Arnaut Danjuma Groeneveld after 27 minutes. The 21-year-old won his first cap on Friday as a substitute against Germany, one of four PSV players to make their Oranje debuts in the last week. Although Belgium were without key players including Kevin de Bruyne, Vincent Kompany and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, Groeneveld said the result was worth celebrating. 'If you draw 1-1 against Belgium away, you can be very satisfied.' The Belgians reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russia in the summer and are currently in first place in FIFA's national team ranking.  More >

Dutch women reach World Cup play-off final

The Netherlands women's team are one step away from qualifying for next year's World Cup finals after seeing off Denmark in their play-off semi-final. Leading 2-0 from the first leg, the European champions suffered an early setback in Viborg when Nadia Nadim converted a penalty after just five minutes. It followed a foul by Arsenal defender Dominique Bloodworth on Pernille Harder. But two minutes later Oranje hit back with an equaliser by Bayern Munich's Lineth Beerensteyn, heading in a cross from Desiree van Lunteren. The away goal meant the Danes had to score three goals without further reply, but the Netherlands had the best chances in the first half, with Sherida Spitse hitting the bar with a long-range shot. Denmark improved in the second half but were unable to find a way through, and two minutes into injury time Beerensteyn struck again from close range to snatch the win. The Lionesses will play Switzerland on November 5 and 13, with the winners qualifying for next year's finals tournament in France. The Swiss edged past Belgium on away goals in their semi-final, having drawn 2-2 away and 1-1 at home.  More >

Ajax holds Bayern Munich to a draw

Amsterdam football club Ajax held Germany's Bayern Munich to a draw in their second Champion's League match on Tuesday night. Bayern's Mats Hummels gave Bayern a lead in the fourth minute, heading in Arjen Robben's cross.  But midway through the first half, Noussair Mazraoui levelled after a one-two with Dušan Tadić. Ajax threatened a second goal in front of the German crowd but the score remained 1-1, taking both clubs to four points on the table. In the other Group E match Benefica beak AEK Athens 2-3. Great night in Munich. Felt like a home game! 👍🏻👊🏻📣⚪🔴⚪ — Klaas Jan Huntelaar (@KJ_Huntelaar) October 2, 2018   More >

Van Bommel praises PSV's team performance

PSV head coach Mark van Bommel praised his players' tenacity and teamwork after they swept aside Ajax 3-0 on Sunday to maintain their 100% start to the season. Goals from Gaston Pereiro, Luuk de Jong and Hirving Lozano ended the match as a contest within 35 minutes, but Van Bommel was also pleased with a strong defensive performance in the second half. 'We try to build from the back, but if that doesn't work we have some outstanding attacking options with Luuk de Jong and pace up front,' Van Bommel told NOS after the match. 'In the second half we did everything to make sure we didn't concede a goal. That's the sign of a real team.' Van Bommel singled out De Jong for praise after the striker notched his fourth goal in six games. 'Ajax put us under a lot of pressure, so it was good to have the option of playing long balls up to Luuk. If you're under pressure you can always find him. He's so important to us.' Ajax striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar acknowledged that the Amsterdam side had been outfought and outplayed. 'For all three goals we were beaten for willpower and we can't accept that,' he said. 'You can't put it down to particular players, the whole team underperformed. We looked good on the ball, but our opponents were far more effective.' The win gives PSV a clear five-point lead at the top of the Eredivisie, with Ajax level on points with Feyenoord and SC Heracles. The Eindhoven side have scored 24 goals in their opening six matches and conceded three.  More >

Good start for Ajax in Champions League

Amsterdam football club Ajax got off to a good start in this year's Champions League competition with a 3-0 home win against AEK Athene. Nicolas Tagliafico was man of the match, scoring the first and third goals, with substitute Donny van de Beek putting away number two. Ajax has drawn Bayern Munich, Benfica and AEK Athene in group E. The club's next meeting is on October 2 when the Amsterdammers meet Bayern Munich away. On Tuesday, PSV Eindhoven had a difficult start to their Champions League campaign, losing 4-0 to FC Barcelona.   More >

Verstappen sets sights on top 3 F1 season

Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari overtaking Max Verstappen in a Red Bull on the opening lap of the Singapore Grand Prix. Max Verstappen retains an outside chance of finishing in the top three in the drivers' championship following his second-place finish in the Singapore Grand Prix. With six races to go the Red Bull driver is in fifth place overall, with 148 points, 26 fewer than Kimi Räikkönen and 23 behind Valtteri Bottas, the second-string drivers for Ferrari and Mercedes respectively. Verstappen showed in Singapore that he has overcome the problems that beset the first six races of the season, when a series of reckless crashes led to a public rebuke from Red Bull's motorsport boss Helmut Marko for being 'impatient'. The Dutchman owed his second-place finish to a piece of quick thinking as he emerged from a pit stop marginally ahead of Sebastian Vettel. Despite having a faster car, Vettel had to yield to Verstappen as he accelerated out of the pit lane and was unable to find a way past in the rest of the race. At one point Verstappen looked to have a chance of snatching the lead from Lewis Hamilton as the world champion was held up in traffic, but Hamilton eventually pulled away to win by almost nine seconds. Bottas and Räikkönen finished fourth and fifth respectively. Verstappen said he was satisfied with his second place, especially as Vettel had overtaken him on the opening lap. 'It was a pity about the first lap,' Verstappen said. 'I didn't have the best start. After that I got stuck behind the safety car. I also had trouble getting away after my pit stop. So we had a lot of problems, but in the end we saw the race through and I'm very pleased with second place.'  More >

Koeman: 'Oranje is on the right path'

A frustrated Ronald Koeman said the Dutch national team was 'on the right path' despite going down 2-1 to France in their opening UEFA Nations League match. Ryan Babel's 65th-minute equaliser in the Stade de France briefly gave the Dutch hope and Memphis Depay came close minutes later before Olivier Giroud's volley on 75 minutes claimed all three points for the World Cup winners. Koeman told NOS he was particularly aggrieved by poor defending for the winning goal. 'I'm really angry about that,' he said. 'We lost because of our own mistakes. The most painful was the second goal. We should have covered the striker and blocked the shot.' The coach said his team had shown France too much respect in the first half, when Kylian Mbappe put the hosts ahead. 'But when we decide to play football, we can do it. We saw that in the second half.' He added: 'We're on the right path and at times we showed that today. We've got the colour back in our cheeks. But there are things we need to improve so we can compete at the highest level.' The Netherlands' next Nations League match is at home to Germany on October 13.  More >