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Netherlands fail to qualify for World Cup, Sweden to play-offs


After the final whistle, Robben completed a slow lap of honour with his two young sons, one of them netting a couple of goals with his left foot to roars from the crowd. He started for his country in the 2010 World Cup final in the extra-time loss to Spain.

After finishing third at the 2014 World Cup, the Dutch missed out on a second straight major tournament after also failing to qualify for Euro 2016.

There was no sign of a mis-hit for his second goal, a powerful first-time shot from just outside the penalty area that fizzed past Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen and into the top corner in the 40th minute.

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As such, Netherlands struggled to create clear-cut chances and things petered out, allowing Sweden to celebrate securing a play-off spot behind France, who beat Belarus 2-1 in Paris.

Robben then doubled the advantage five minutes from the break with a spectacular first-time effort from the edge of the box, but Sweden held firm in the second half to move on.

Robben and co needed to do the unthinkable and win by seven goals to secure their place at Russia next summer.

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Sweden secured a spot in the UEFA World Cup qualifying playoffs despite losing 2-0 to Netherlands, whose elimination was confirmed. However, for many, the prolific scorer will be most identified with his time in orange.

Tuesday's encounter proved to be the last international for Robben who, after 37 goals in 96 internationals, received a standing ovation as he limped through the final minutes.

Robben enjoyed a fabulous international career after he burst onto the scene aged 19 in a friendly against Portugal back in April 2003.

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