Amsterdam: Netherlands manager Guus Hiddink slammed his players for a succession of defensive blunders after giving up a 3-1 lead against the United States in a crazy final 20 minutes to lose 4-3.
“It was a mad end of the match,” fumed Hiddink after the game in Amsterdam. “This is a difficult moment. We were completely disorganised in the last 20 minutes,” added the 68-year-old, who is in his second spell as national coach having in the previous one guided the Dutch to the 1998 World Cup semi-finals.
US’ Danny Williams (right) celebrates with DeAndre Yedlin after scoring against the Netherlands on Friday at the Arena Stadium. Pic/AFP
Although the Amsterdam game on Friday was only a friendly, the match was crucial in Hiddink’s efforts to get the Netherlands back into the European Championships qualifying race.
They are third in Group A -- five points behind second placed Iceland -- and have a crunch match in Latvia on Friday.
With 20 minutes to go the Dutch were 3-1 up against Jurgen Klinsmann’s USA through two goals from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and one from Manchester United-bound Memphis Depay.
Los Angeles Galaxy forward Gyarsi Zardes scored his first international goal in the first half, but the United States were revitalised by Germany-born John Brooks 70th minute goal -- almost a year to the day since his goal sealed Klinsmann’s side a surprise 2-1 win over Ghana in a group match at the World Cup finals.
The game was then turned on its head. Hiddink’s team still led with two minutes of normal time remaining, but Danny Williams of English Championship side Reading scored with a long range shot that came off Luuk de Jong.
Seconds later de Jong saw a header come off the US crossbar. But Bobby Wood scored from close range in the dying seconds to spark wild US celebrations.
“We have got to fix the defensive errors,” said Hiddink, who also called for his side to be more “ruthless” in attack. “Without a doubt, nobody was playing at his best,” added Hiddink.
Czech Republic and Iceland are dominating Group A in the race for the Euro 2016 finals. Hiddink’s team meanwhile, are only two points ahead of Turkey.