Ronald Koeman paid tribute to the resilience that his Netherlands team displayed during a thrilling 4-2 victory at Germany.
The Netherlands grabbed a critical victory in Hamburg on Friday night courtesy of a spectacular second-half, which saw them score all four of their goals to bolster their Euro 2020 qualification hopes.
Serge Gnabry had given Germany a first-half lead after only nine minutes. However, Frenkie de Jong equalised in the 59th-minute before Jonathan Tah’s own goal put the visitors ahead seven minutes later.
Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos later scored a penalty to seemingly settle the tie at 2-2 between the nations.
But debutant Donyell Malen had other ideas by scoring his first international goal to restore Netherlands’ lead. Then, in the injury-time, Georginio Wijnaldum got on the scoresheet himself to wrap up an impressive win.
“The team that has done the most to win has earned it,” Koeman told reporters after the match.
“The Germans also had a number of good chances, but I found Germany waiting [for opportunities].
“We played to win the game more than they did. We kept our patience and while Germany had two good chances after the break, they maybe grew a little tired of closing all the gaps. In the second half, they could no longer walk.
“In the first half we were not dangerous, we built it up a bit better in the second half. It turned out well.
“We have resilience, that’s great in this team. We have faith and are at peace.”
While Netherlands remain in third place in Group C, they are now just three points adrift of Germany in second and six off leaders Northern Ireland with a game in hand.
Koeman’s men will have a great chance to cut down that gap again in Monday’s visit to Estonia, with Northern Ireland and Germany to meet on the very same night.