Euro qualifiers: I'm empty inside, says Netherlands' Sneijder after loss

Dutch skipper says that he is physically and mentally drained as his side failed to make cut for Europe's premier tourney after a 2-3 defeat to Czech Republic

Amsterdam: A physically and mentally drained Wesley Sneijder admitted that "a lot is wrong" with Netherlands after their 2-3 defeat to Czech Republic.

Netherlands' Wesley Sneijder reacts after their 2-3 defeat to Czech Republic at the Amsterdam Arena on Tuesday. Pic/AFP
Netherlands' Wesley Sneijder reacts after their 2-3 defeat to Czech Republic at the Amsterdam Arena on Tuesday. Pic/AFP

Just over a year after finishing third at Brazil 2014, the Dutch failed to even secure a play-off for next year's European Champions in France, with coach Danny Blind's side limping home fourth in their qualification group, behind Czech Republic, Iceland and Turkey.

Pavel Kaderabek put the Czechs ahead and Josef Sural doubled their lead, before the away side had Marek Suchy sent off for chopping down Memphis Depay as he raced through on goal two minutes prior to half-time.

However, Robin van Persie inexplicably headed into his own net in the 66th minute to make it 3-0. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Van Persie scored at the other end to reduce the deficit.

Blind only took charge in July, after being promoted from assistant coach to the top job in Dutch football following the surprise resignation of Guus Hiddink, who had succeeded Louis van Gaal at the helm after the World Cup.

Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie

However, the former Ajax man's future is now in doubt, with Netherlands' shockingly poor Euro 2016 qualification campaign having come to a dismal end with a 3-2 at home to the 10-man Czechs.

Sneijder admitted that Oranje had been justifiably punished for their defensive deficiencies. "I am empty inside — both physically and mentally," Sneijder told NOS after the full-time whistle.

"If you know you have to win this game, you cannot just give it away with these types of errors. There's a lot wrong. We know Czech Republic are a good team, but you have to keep things compact and we were disappointing.

"I think we had a fantastic opening, but we made many mistakes, for which we were punished. Anyway, there is little we can do now. It's over.

Sneijder, who inspired Netherlands to the final of the 2010 World Cup, added that he has no intention of calling time on his international career.

"I will not stop playing for Netherlands," the Galatasaray playmaker stated. "I still feel very fit."

Teams that made Euro 2016 cut
France (hosts), Czech Republic, Iceland, Turkey, Belgium, Wales, Spain, Slovakia, Germany, Poland, England, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Romania, Austria, Russia, Portugal, Italy, Croatia and Albania.

Who will be in play-offs
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Ireland, Slovenia, Hungary, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. (These teams will vie for the final four berths).

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