Slovenia had goalkeeper Samir Handanovic to thank after he kept the Dutch at bay with a series of stunning saves to leave the UEFA Under-21 European Championship play-off tie finely poised.
A regular with the senior national team, Treviso FC goalkeeper Handanovic was drafted into the Slovenian side as they sought to secure their first ever appearance in the U21 European Championship finals. Indeed, they have never before reached the play-offs but despite missing Dalibor Stevanovič through injury, Branko Zupan's side did not shy from their more illustrious opponents as they ended the match on the attack.
The home team spent much of the first half on the back foot in Celje, however, and had Handanovic to thank for making a string of superb saves to deny a Netherlands side that had racked up 15 goals in their last five qualifiers. "We were not brave in the first half," said Handanovic. "But in football you have to try and we did so in second half. I hope we will play better in second match." The return leg is in Heerenveen on Wednesday.