Netherlands defender Virgil van Dijk displayed his compassionate side following his last-gasp equaliser against Germany on Monday.
Van Dijk’s late volley salvaged a dramatic 2-2 draw for the Dutch in Gelsenkirchen, propelling them into the Nations League Finals in Portugal next summer and completing a miserable campaign for Joachim Low’s hosts, whose relegation to League B had already been confirmed.
The final whistle prompted enthusiastic celebrations for the Netherlands players but Van Dijk instead sought out referee Ovidiu Hategan – the Romanian official who was in tears following the recent passing of his mother.
Van Dijk told Voetbal International: “The man broke down with tears in his eyes because he had just lost his mother.
“I wished him strength and said he had refereed the game well. It’s a small thing but maybe it will help him.”
— OnsOranje (@OnsOranje) November 20, 2018
Netherlands’ qualification for the final four of the Nations League continues their resurgence under Ronald Koeman, although they were second best for long periods against a Germany team struggling for form.
“We had a lot of the ball but were not able to put any pressure on them,” the Liverpool centre-half added.
“Germany are, of course, a good team, they played well between the lines and with strikers that had a lot of movement.
“We had trouble with that, it is something we have to learn from.”
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