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Sympathy for Dick Advocaat

Marcotti's Musings
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Hard to not feel for Dick Advocaat after goal difference proclamation

Dick Advocaat
Dick Advocaat was confident the Netherlands would be able to make up a small goal differential at home against Sweden.

Sometimes it must really feel as if fate is conspiring against you.

Take Dick Advocaat. Before Saturday, his Dutch team were chasing France and Sweden in Group A and despite a rollercoaster qualifying campaign, he still felt moderately bullish for a playoff place. After all, Sweden traveled to Amsterdam for the final group game and with the Netherlands three points back, they would control their destiny.

If both countries won their games Saturday -- Advocaat's men away to Belarus and the Swedes at home to Luxembourg -- it would be merely a question of goal difference. And ahead of the Saturday games, Sweden had a six-goal edge in that department ... nothing that a 3-0 Dutch win on Tuesday couldn't cure.

That's when Advocaat was asked, in the pre-match press conference, about the possibility of a big Swedish win over Luxembourg (say, 8-0) and how it might affect the group.

"They won't win 8-0. What a stupid question that is," he said.

Famous last words, eh? Sweden did win 8-0 while the Dutch won their game 3-1. That meant Sweden's goal difference was now a massive 12 goals greater than the Oranje and that the Dutch will need to not just win, but win by at least seven goals.

It's hard to not have a teeny, tiny bit of sympathy for Advocaat.

Click here to read more of Marcotti's thoughts on what occurred in European football over the previous week.

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