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The Netherlands' 90th-minute match winner Leroy Fer was the reluctant hero after the Jong Oranje opened their Group B campaign with a 3-2 victory against Germany. Captain Kevin Strootman was equally relieved after Cor Pot's side secured all three points having surrendered a two-goal half-time lead. For Germany goalkeeper Bernd Leno and forward Kevin Volland, there was only disappointment that their fine work after the interval had gone to waste.
Leroy Fer, Netherlands midfielder
I was very happy for the team – a good start to the tournament, three points. We still have two important games and we have to win them as well. It was a difficult second half. The Germans played very well in the second half, but like I said – 3-2 was also a good goal from the corner, so we're very happy with the win. We know the Russians have a good team but we also have a good team. We want to win the game as well to go to the semi-finals.
Kevin Strootman, Netherlands captain
It feels really good. We know we have to play better than in the second half – it was not as good as the first. You know they have a lot of quality. We made mistakes, they scored the goals. But we recovered and we scored [to make it] 3-2.
Of course it was so important to win the first game against Germany. We know Russia and Spain are really good teams, quality players. Now we'll enjoy this game. [Then] the focus is going to be on the second game.
Bernd Leno, Germany goalkeeper
We were a bit unlucky today. The first half wasn't good by us, but we bounced back quite well. The Dutch were basically dead and then we lost the game from a set piece. That's double the pain, especially if you just look at the second half, when we absolutely dominated and were very close to making it 3-2. To then concede a late goal is just disappointing.
The tempo the Dutch played with in the first half was incredible. I think we had a bit of a nervous start and made some mistakes. They had some very quick wingers and they did a great job, but hats off to the way the team bounced back. The first half wasn't good, but the second was great.
The match against Spain is basically a final for us. We lost this game and the Dutch won.
Now we need to pick up something against Spain, otherwise things will get really tricky for us. We have a strong team and we are used to this kind of pressure. That is why we are only looking forward and we are going to build on the performance in the second half.
Kevin Volland, Germany forward
We slept through the first half a little bit. We didn't get into the one-v-one challenges as we would have liked. I think we defended a lot better in the second half. We tried everything to turn the game and when it was 2-2, we had them at a point where we could have won. But in the 89th minute we conceded a goal from a set piece, that's very tough to take. We shouldn't allow this to happe. In that phase of the match we should have been more focused and avoided the situation in the first place. In the future this shouldn't happen again.
I think we challenged the Dutch much better in the second half, the whole team behaved better defensively. You also saw in the second half that the Dutch had problems when we attacked them. They had to play more long balls and couldn't combine as much. We scored two goals but could have added more.
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