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Friday, 30 June, 2000, 18:13 GMT 19:13 UK
Holland simply not good enough
De Boer's disappointment
Frank de Boer was denied from the spot twice by Toldo
Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen looks back at the shock Euro 2000 exit of Holland and the defeat that left the host country in mourning.

Holland's Euro 2000 semi-final defeat by Italy left Amsterdam in a mood of total deflation and desolation.

It was like a morgue in the city on Thursday night as the host nation came to terms with a defeat the shattered all the hopes and dreams for their showpiece summer tournament.

Holland can offer many reasons for their defeat, but they cannot complain about being unlucky after Frank de Boer and Patrick Kluivert missed penalties in normal time.


Alan Hansen
Hansen was not impressed by Rijkaard's substitutions
And while some may say it was a bad result for the purists because of Italy's defensive outlook, the feeling remains that the alarm bells had been ringing about this Dutch team since their first match against the Czech Republic.

I felt Holland's demise was the combination of a number of factors, one being that they were certainly not as good as everybody thought they were.

Warning sign

It was still a bitter pill for Holland to swallow because crowd expectations inside the Amsterdam Arena were massive, something which always accompanies a national team playing on home soil in a major tournament.

I have to say I felt there was something missing about the Dutch from their first kick in Euro 2000 - and it all came back to haunt them in one game against Italy.



Holland were not as good as everybody thought they were

Alan Hansen
The Czech game was the warning sign. They didn't play well, and in the second half of that match, when the Czechs could have scored four goals, they really struggled.

The performances raised concerns about the team's running power, particularly of someone like Frank de Boer, and also Dennis Bergkamp was not at his best.

It's true they excited everyone with their performance against Yugoslavia, but you have to temper the judgement of an undoubtedly excellent display with the knowledge that the opposition virtually failed to turn up for that match.

And it's true they enjoyed a victory against France - but the French fielded what could almost be regarded as their shadow side, and may not necessarily have been too unhappy to have lost.

Bizarre substitutions

Holland never quite solved the puzzle against Italy and in my opinion their cause was not helped by some bizarre substitutions from coach Frank Rijkaard.


Clarence Seedorf
Hansen would have left Bergkamp on ahead of Seedorf
He brought on Peter van Vossen, who struggled to make any impact and looked a very ordinary player.



Alarm bells rang about Holland after the first match

Alan Hansen
But perhaps even more puzzling was Rijkaard's decision to replace Bergkamp with Clarence Seedorf.

Bergkamp may not have been at his best early in Euro 2000, but he was definitely one of their better players against Italy and was a real surprise choice to be taken off.

Holland never played particularly well against Italy's 10 men for the majority of the game, and I am afraid there can be no realistic complaints about ill-fortune after missing all those penalties.

If you have six penalties and score just one, you waive your rights to those sort of complaints.

I was very critical of Italy, but only because I feel they have so much more to offer than they showed us in Amsterdam.

But it was up to Holland to break them down and in the end they were not good enough.

And in the final reckoning, this is the simple reason they are not contesting the final of Euro 2000.

Holland were just not good enough.

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See also:

29 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Italy through on penalties
30 Jun 00 | Holland
Dutch despair over penalty pain
16 May 00 | Sportstalk
Who will win Euro 2000?
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