Blind sacked as Dutch coach after World Cup flop

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The Dutch Football Association (KNVB) has called time on the former defender's reign after only 20 months and 18 matches.

Netherlands boss Danny Blind was going to have to turn to a debutante at the center of defense no matter what in this game, after star Stefan de Vrij picked up an injury and failed to pass fit.

Danny Blind has been sacked as Netherlands head coach following their World Cup Qualifier defeat to Bulgaria.

Blind, 55, had been in charge since July 2015, succeeding Guus Hiddink, but Saturday's loss in Sofia left the Dutch in fourth place in qualifying Group A, six points behind leaders France. "But because the results were not forthcoming, and because qualification for Russian Federation has gone poorly so far, we felt the need to take our leave of him", said KNVB director Jean Paul Decossaux.

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"The blame is on me".

Blind conceded before kickoff he was taking a risk starting Matthijs De Ligt who, at 17, became the youngest Netherlands debutant since Mauk Weber in 1931. Asked about his future, he told NOS: "I need to think about it". I do not throw the towel in. "Of course I have to look at myself".

"We came here with good intentions and before the game I was positive". With this win, Portugal are placed second in Group B with 12 points at the moment, and are three points short of the table-toppers Switzerland. The player pool isn't especially strong, as evidenced by the fact that De Ligt was even in contention to start, and now they have to turn things around from a three-point hole as they try just to make a playoff.