The Netherlands failed to secure a seven-goal miracle against Sweden on Tuesday evening and are out of the World Cup, failing to qualify for a second major tournament in a row.
Heading into Tuesday’s game, Dick Advocaat’s side required an astonishing seven-goal win to overturn the goal difference of opponents Sweden.
That simply wasn’t to be. The Netherlands did secure all three points, winning 2-0 thanks to an Arjen Robben double, but were never close to making Sweden nervous.
The result sees Sweden finish second in Group A, qualifying for the play-off.
France beat Belarus 2-1 in Paris, securing top spot and a place at next summer’s tournament thanks to goals from Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud.
In Group B, Portugal ended Switzerland’s nine game winning run in qualifying in Lisbon. A Johan Djourou own goal and André Silva’s second half effort secured a 2-0 win, sending Portugal to Russia. Switzerland have to settle for a play-off place.
After disaster in Euro 2016 qualifying, Greece are also in the play-offs after a 4-0 win against Gibraltar.
The European Champions of 2004 couldn’t catch Group H winners Belgium, who beat Cyrpus 4-0 on a memorable evening. Jan Vertonghen captained the side as he became the country’s record holder for all-time appearances, winning his 97th cap.
Greece’s win confirmed that Slovakia will not be in the play-offs, as they were ninth-best second-place team.
European teams qualified for the 2018 World Cup:
France, Portugal, Germany, Serbia, Poland, England, Spain, Belgium and Iceland.
European teams in the play-offs:
Sweden, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Denmark, Italy, Greece and Croatia.
The draw for the play-offs takes place on 17th October in Zurich, with the four teams with the highest world ranking seeded.
Tuesday’s European results in full: