Dutch Fans In Mourning

Dutch football fans are in mourning after the once mighty Oranje failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, plunging the inventors of "total football" into a collective bout of soul-searching.

Not even two goals from retiring legend Arjen Robben against Sweden could save the stuttering Dutch football machine, which now has the dubious distinction of failing to make it to two major football competitions in a row.

After Tuesday's match, Dutch captain and long-time workhorse Robben announced his retirement from the national team -- marking the end of an era which saw him and other top Dutch players such as Wesley Sneijder, Robin van Persie and Rafael van der Vaart threaten to win the sports' greatest prizes.

Yet almost exactly two years ago to the day, Holland got their first nasty surprise when a 3-2 home defeat against a 10-man Czech Republic saw them fail to qualify for Euro 2016.

Tuesday evening the "melancholy atmosphere was complete: the 2018 World Cup in Russia will be without the Netherlands, the number two in 2010 and the number three in 2014", the authoritative daily De Volkskrant said.

Source : http://www.thedailystar.net/sports/football/dutch-fans-mourning-1475737

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