8 October 2017
By Ikenna Amadi
Bayern Munich star, Arjen Robben, has admitted that Netherlands have no chance of securing the miracle seven-goal victory over Sweden required to book a World Cup play-off berth.
The Oranje narrowly avoided elimination with a late 3 – 1 win in Belarus on Saturday, but the result means there remain little more than a mathematical chance of finishing second in Group A.
Sweden earlier romped to an 8 – 0 rout of Luxembourg to effectively kill off those chances, with Janne Andersson’s side boasting a three-point buffer and vastly superior goal difference ahead of their trip to Amsterdam on Tuesday.
Although he scored an 84th-minute penalty to restore his side’s lead in Belarus, Robben concedes the 2018 World Cup in Russia is sacrificed.
“This hurts. It is unfortunately part of the sport,” Robben told ONS.
“After Sweden’s result, you can’t do anything else other than play with your chest out, but an 8 – 0 win in Belarus [was not going to] happen. And a 7 – 0 win at home to Sweden isn’t going to happen.
“When you hear [Sweden won] 8 – 0, that’s a big blow.”
“In the first half we did not have many opportunities.” However, Netherlands coach, Dick Advocaat, is refusing to give up the fight.
“The reality is that it will be very difficult, but it’s not over yet,” the 70-year-old said. “We have to play another game. It is possible.”