Van Dijk finds time to console referee during Dutch delight

Virgil van Dijk showed a touch of class after helping Netherlands secure its place at the Nations League Finals.

Netherlands defender Virgil van Dijk   -  Getty Images

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 it into the Nations League Finals in Portugal next summer and completing a miserable campaign for Joachim Low's host, 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.

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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 that he had refereed the game well. It's a small thing, but maybe, it will help him."

Netherlands' qualification for the final four of the Nations League continues its resurgence under Ronald Koeman, although it was 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. 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," the Liverpool centre-half added.

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