MINSK – Missing the last two major tournaments had been hard for the Netherlands to swallow but Georginio Wijnaldum says they have taken a massive step towards qualifying for Euro 2020 with Sunday’s win in Belarus.
Wijnaldum's two goals in their 2-1 win in Minsk kept the Dutch top of Group C, level on points with Germany and three clear of Northern Ireland, who they beat 3-1 in Rotterdam on Thursday.
It means the Dutch need only a draw in their next game in Belfast on Nov. 16 to book their place in the finals.
“It was very painful to miss the last World Cup and European Championship before that,” said Wijnaldum of the Dutch absence in Russia last year and at Euro 2016 in France.
“When we were off on holiday in the past summers, it was going through my head the whole time that we should have been there.