Monday, July 15, 2024

Netherlands ´very close´ to realising Euro 2024 dream against England, says Ake

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Jul 2024


Nathan Ake says the Netherlands are “very close” to achieveing their dream ahead of their Euro 2024 semi-final with England.

The Netherlands had to come from behind to beat Turkiye 2-1 on Saturday night thanks to a header from Stefan de Vrij and Mert Muldur’s own goal in Berlin.

That triumph set up a semi-final clash with England in Dortmund next Wednesday.

And Ake is relishing the opportunity of facing several of his Manchester City team-mates, saying the Oranje are within touching distance of securing a first major international honour since 1988.

“I’m looking forward to it. There’s a lot of players I know from the Premier League,” said Ake.

“We know their individual qualities and it’s a semi-final so it will be tough. We’re building momentum.

“We came through tough stages at the start of the tournament and now we’ve got through another test so I think we’re ready for it.

“Underdog or not – it doesn’t matter. We focus on ourselves. We know what we need to do. We are very close now.”

The Netherlands, much like England, have been subject to criticism for their performances at the tournament so far.

Ronaldo Koeman’s side progressed to the knockout stages as one of the best third-placed teams, having taken four points from Group D fixtures.

The Netherlands eased past Romania in the last 16 with arguably their best performance of the tournament, before showing their powers of recovery against Turkiye.

“You can play good football but still go out,” Cody Gakpo, who is the joint-top scorer at the tournament, said.

“Obviously I think everyone knows each country can play a little bit better but if you win, that’s all that matters.”


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