|Netherlands fans react after the Dutch lost to Portugal at Metalist stadium in Kharkiv, June 17, 2012. (REUTERS)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - "Sorry."
That was the most common word coming out of the mouths of disappointed Dutch players after finishing Euro 2012 at 0-3, easily earning "Flops of the Tournament" honours in the process.
The final dagger to the Netherlands' fading hopes of advancing was thrust by the Portuguese, who beat de Oranje 2-1 Sunday at Metalist Stadium.
If the Dutch really felt that way, they should have picked up the collective overpriced lodging tabs for the thousands of orange-clad fans who came to this city and captivated the locals with their spirit, respect and, of course, their cash.
For a team sprinkled with all-star talent to go winless in this tournament is unacceptable. This, remember, is a team that just two years ago took Spain into extra time before finally dropping a 1-0 decision in the final of World Cup 2010 in South Africa.
"We're disappointed and I'm responsible for that," said manager Bert Van Marwijk, who later snapped when asked about his recently-signed contract extension that keeps him on the job until 2016.
"We just lost the third game of the tournament. You can ask me all kinds of questions but not questions about my contract," barked Van Marwijk, who claimed his team could never overcome its opening game 1-0 loss to the underdog Danes.
No worries Bert. We'll leave that to the entire legion of gutted and bitter soccer supporters in Holland, who will be demanding some pretty strong explanations from you when you get back.
Good luck with that.