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World Cup 2022

Depay: Netherlands draw feels like defeat after penalty miss

The Netherlands’ draw with Poland felt like a defeat for Memphis Depay after he missed a potentially game-winning penalty in second-half stoppage time.

Poland left Robert Lewandowski on the bench but went ahead in the first half through Matty Cash, and extended their lead via Piotr Zielinski four minutes after the restart at De Kuip.

Goals from Davy Klaassen and Denzel Dumfries restored parity just five minutes later and Cash’s handball gave Depay a chance to secure all three points in the Nations League Group A4 game.

However, the Barcelona attacker’s spot-kick hit the post, making him the first Netherlands player to miss three penalties.

“I missed it and unfortunately that can happen. I had the winner on my foot but I didn’t score it,” Depay told NOS.

“I practice penalties and score them often enough. It just has to go in, because then we win the match. Now it feels like a defeat.

“They sat back, especially in the first half, and then the spaces are small. They also took the lead when they hadn’t really had a chance before it and they were then 10 [players] behind the ball.

“We said at half-time that we had to stay calm. It was a blow [Poland going 2-0 up]. We fought, continue to play football and always believed in ourselves, but it was difficult.”

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Depay: Netherlands draw feels like defeat after penalty miss

Depay denied that wearing the captain’s armband added any pressure after he failed to net the goal he needs to draw level with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in second place on the Netherlands’ all-time scoring list.

He said:

“I don’t think one has to do with the other.

“Captain or not, I always want to play well. This time it wasn’t the case, but that can happen.”

The Netherlands retained their three-point lead at the top of the group because Belgium were held to a 1-1 draw by Wales.

Louis van Gaal admitted the mood in the dressing room was downcast, but was pleased with the character his team showed to mount a comeback.

“Memphis didn’t play his best game. He should’ve scored the winner at the end. Luckily it’s happening now. At the World Cup he will get them in,” said Van Gaal.

“The guys sat in the dressing room afterwards as if they had lost, but we came back from 2-0 down. This was the first time we played against a team that was defending with 10 men.

“I’m very proud of my team for the resilience, the spirit and the way we played in the second half.”

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Depay: Netherlands draw feels like defeat after penalty miss

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