EINDHOVEN, Netherlands — Greece came from a goal down to beat the Netherlands 2-1 on Thursday and heap more pressure on beleaguered Dutch coach Danny Blind.
It was the fifth straight home defeat for the Dutch, the first time that has happened since 1933, and underscored the depths the team has sunk to since being a losing semifinalist in the last World Cup in Brazil.
After failing to qualify for the expanded European Championship this summer, the Dutch face a tough qualification group for the 2018 World Cup with its coaching staff in disarray. Two of Blind’s assistants – Dick Advocaat and Marco van Basten – recently announced their departures, and the national football association’s director is also leaving his post.
Football in Greece is also in turmoil, with the government delaying indefinitely the start of the league and cup amid an ongoing dispute with league organizers over measures designed to combat corruption.
But a Greece team drawn largely from foreign leagues got a boost in Eindhoven after a shaky start.
Georginio Wijnaldum bundled the ball over the line in the 14th minute to give the Netherlands a deserved lead, but the confidence ebbed out of Blind’s team midway through the first half and Konstantinos Mitroglou leveled for Greece, getting in front of Joel Veltman to easily head home a cross from the right by captain Vasilis Torosidis.
Substitute Ioannis Gianniotas grabbed Greece’s winner, confidently firing home the rebound in the 74th after Jeroen Zoet saved an effort by Mitroglou.
“It’s unacceptable at this level to give away goals that easily,” veteran Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder said.
The Netherlands takes on Sweden on Tuesday in Solna in its first qualifier for the 2018 World Cup, while Greece takes on Gibraltar.