Netherlands sack coach Danny Blind after latest setback

Group A table-toppers France, the 1998 champions and last year's Euro 2016 runners-up, saw Olivier Giroud open the scoring in Luxembourg just before the half-hour mark.

That left Netherlands fourth in Group A, six points adrift of leaders France, with Decossaux acknowledging Koeman could be tough to recruit.

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While the Dutch have stumbled recently, the Azzurri have been winning with room to spare thanks to a core of exciting young talents. "We were on the right track", he said. Those who didn't play today will play tomorrow or the day after.

Robben refused to single out De Ligt, the Ajax prospect with just 14 prior senior appearances, who was caught under a long ball for Bulgaria's opener, allowing Delev in to score.

AC Milan defender Alessio Romagnoli believes the trip to Amsterdam will prove a worthwhile experience.

Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum believes the players have to remain optimistic.

The match should be a hard-fought encounter, which can really go either way, even though the Netherlands do appear to be the favorites going into the match. PSV Eindhoven attacker Luuk de Jong has also floundered when given the chance up front.

After Van Gaal left to take over at Manchester United, the Dutch turned to another seemingly safe pair of hands in veteran Guus Hiddink, who had guided them to the semi-finals of the 1998 World Cup in France.

One day after slipping into fourth place in UEFA Qualifying Group A, the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) announced that Blind has been fired as the Dutch national team's boss, citing the possibility that one of soccer's world powers is in danger of missing out on its second straight major worldwide tournament after failing to qualify for Euro 2016.

The Dutchman memorably led Oranje through to the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup, losing on penalties to Argentina, before beating hosts Brazil 3-0 in the third pace play-off.

And tonight (Tuesday) things won't get any easier when they entertain Italy in an worldwide friendly clash. Expect the likes of Andrea Belotti and Ciro Immobile to run a suspect Dutch defence ragged.

  • Julie Sanders