Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk consoles tearful referee Ovidiu Hategan after Netherlands’ Nations League win
The captain hugged the official whose mother died in the build-up to the game against Germany, which saw the Dutch fight back to draw 2-2
The official’s mother is understood to have died in the build-up to the game and, when he blew the final whistle and wiped tears from his eyes, received a hug from the Dutch captain who was seen wiping tears from his eyes.
“That man broke down, stood with tears in his eyes because he had just lost his mother,” Van Dijk, who scored a 90th minute equaliser to send his nation into the Nations League semi-final.
“I wished him strength and said that he had refereed well. It’s a small thing, but maybe it helps him.”
The Netherlands came from two goals down against Germany to snatch a late point at the Veltins-Arena.
Timo Werner and Leroy Sane had given the Germans a commanding half-time lead, but Quincy Promes’ 85th-minute strike followed by Van Dijk’s thunderous volley saw Ronald Koeman’s men top Group A1.
The Netherlands join England, Switzerland and Portugal in the Nations League semi-finals with the draw taking place in Dublin on December 3.
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