Dutch World Cup Dream Dashed Despite Robben's Heroics
2018 World Cup Qualifier Report: Netherlands v Sweden 10 October 2017
2018 World Cup Qualifier
Result: Netherlands 2-0 Sweden
Date: 10 October 2017
Venue: Amsterdam ArenA
The Netherlands missed out on a play-off spot, despite securing a 2-0 win over Sweden in their final 2018 World Cup qualifier.
The Swedes finished second in the group with a better goal difference and will now compete in the play-offs.
The home side took the lead in the 16th minute after they were awarded a penalty for a hand-ball inside the area. Arjen Robben stepped up and made it 1-0 from 12 yards.
Dick Advocaat's men had the momentum after half-an-hour with the Swedes playing with a lot of bodies behind the ball.
However, Robben scored his and the hosts' second goal in the 40th minute after latching onto a pass and hitting a first time into the top corner, 2-0.
The score remained 2-0 to the home side at the halftime break.
The Dutch had the upper hand after the hour-mark but their final ball let them down on a couple of occasions.
After 75 minutes, Advocaat's charges lacked the sense of urgency as reality started to sink in that they won't be able to score another five goals in the remaining minutes in order to qualify for a play-off spot.
The hosts needed to pip the Swedes on goal difference to have any chance of reaching the World Cup, by winning by seven goals.
In the end, the Dutch failed to add to their two-goal lead in the closing stages, and had to settle for a third-place finish.