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Should Netherlands' goal have counted?

Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman insisted Xavi Simons' disallowed goal should have stood as his side played out the first goalless draw of Euro 2024 against France in Leipzig.

Goalscorer Simons, the Netherlands team-mates celebrating with him and a delirious Dutch crowd behind the goal were all convinced the 21-year-old had given Koeman's side the lead when he found the bottom corner in the second half.

But the on-field officials, led by English referee Anthony Taylor, disallowed the goal because Dutch full-back Denzel Dumfries was in an offside position and deemed to be impeding France goalkeeper Mike Maignan.

There was a lengthy check by the video assistant referee as fans inside the stadium, without the luxury of being able to see the replay, whistled in frustration until it was announced the on-field decision would stand.

"I think the position of Dumfries is offside, that is true," said Koeman. "But he is not disturbing the goalkeeper and when that is not happening, it is a legal goal, in my opinion."

It was arguably the first major talking point surrounding the use of VAR at the tournament, especially regarding the time taken to reach a decision.

"You need five minutes to check it, because it is so difficult?" added Koeman. "I don’t understand this. He is not disturbing the goalkeeper."

France coach Didier Deschamps was, perhaps unsurprisingly, of the opinion the correct decision was reached.

"I was a little taken aback by how long it took," he said. "Because, for me, when I saw the image on the screen for me it was a no brainer."

'France very fortunate'

The former England strikers on BBC television coverage were in agreement with the Netherlands boss that the goal should have stood.

"France have been very fortunate here," said Alan Shearer. "When you see the angle behind the goal, the goalkeeper cannot dive for that with the body position he was in.

"He's not getting to that ball and Dumfries is not affecting him at all. I just don't think he's getting there at all."

Gary Lineker added: "You have to decide whether the goalkeeper is impeded and he's not, clearly. He's a long way from Dumfries there, if he dived he could just about reach him."

Wayne Rooney, along with former Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas, suggested referee Taylor should have gone to look at the pitchside monitor.

"He does actually make a small attempt to get the ball," said Rooney. "There's no way that should be disallowed, I think it's a goal and it was frustrating with how long it took.

"If you go to the monitor at least the referee can make a decision and it's his own opinion."

However, former Netherlands defender Mario Melchiot - after joking he did not like VAR - conceded that Dumfries was impacting Maignan's ability to save the ball.

"I think normally when someone is stood in such a position, you think is he in the line of the ball? No. But the position he was in he could put the keeper off," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"If this goal was scored against us I would have said the same thing."

Despite disagreeing with the decision, Koeman - who said he spoke to Taylor in the dressing room afterwards - said he could accept the outcome and was satisfied with a draw that leaves the Netherlands on four points after two games and in a strong position to reach the last 16.

"France had better chances but not that many more," he added.

"I personally thought the goal should have stood, therefore my takeaway from this is it is a fair result – I can accept this.

"There were times during the game where we weren’t up to scratch and that is probably due to the fact we were up against a great opponent."

Indeed, France had 14 shots without scoring, which is their most in a major tournament game without finding the net since the Euro 2016 final against Portugal, when they had 18.

Netherlands face Austria in their final Group D game on Tuesday, 17:00 BST, at the same time France take on Poland, who have already been eliminated.