Cody Gakpo scores again but Virgil van Dijk furious after Netherlands upset

Cody Gakpo netted his second goal of the Euros on Tuesday night, but the Netherlands suffered a 3-2 loss to Austria that left captain Virgil van Dijk furious.

Heading into the tournament, Netherlands were considered to hold an outside chance of emerging as winners, with a strong squad at Ronald Koeman’s disposal.

But the group stage has hardly been straightforward, with a narrow 2-1 win over Poland followed by a 0-0 draw with France that saw them shut up shop for a point.

Tuesday night brought their Group D closer, with their four-point tally putting them in a strong position to progress but still needing a result – or results elsewhere to go their way – to guarantee a spot in the last 16.

Coming up against Ralf Rangnick’s Austria, the Oranje suffered a shock early setback, with Donyell Malen’s sliding block diverting Alexander Prass’ cross into his own goal.

Austria were the better side throughout the first half, but Netherlands improved after the break with the introduction of Xavi Simons.

It was Simons’ counter that led to the equaliser, driving forward and finding Gakpo peeling off the defence, the Liverpool winger cutting onto his right and bending home.

Netherlands' Cody Gakpo gestures. Credit: Tom Weller/dpa/Alamy Live News Credit: dpa picture alliance/Alamy Live News

Gakpo’s second goal of the tournament, it kept up an impressive run of form for the 25-year-old, who is clearly more comfortable on the left flank.

Austria went back in front soon after, with Romano Schmid nodding in, only for Memphis Depay to restore parity, converting an improvised effort after Wout Weghorst headed down Gakpo’s cross.

But the winner came five minutes later, with Marcel Sabitzer drifting into the box and finishing into the far top corner for a 3-2 win.

Van Dijk was suspect in his defensive work throughout, and the Netherlands captain was completely out of sorts as he played Sabitzer onside, standing yards behind the rest of his defence.

It should perhaps have come as no surprise, then, that the Liverpool defender quickly exited the field at full-time, visibly frustrated.

Speaking to NOS after the game, per De Telegraaf, Van Dijk insisted that “things have to change” if Netherlands are to stand a chance at the Euros.

“A very bad match. We started weakly, in possession of the ball but also in the duels. Then you are behind the times. It was just a bad evening,” he explained.

He added: “We are all responsible. It shouldn’t happen, but it did and that’s bad.

“If we want to achieve anything in this tournament, things have to change very quickly.”

Netherlands are still through to the last 16 despite finishing third in their group, and are now expected to face England on Sunday.