Orange to the eighth finals of the European Championship after victory over Austria

door Jeroen Kapteijns

The previous national coach Ronald Koeman had taken place in the stands, who saw that the Dutch national team again took office in a 5-3-2 formation or 3-5-2 formation with Denzel Dumfries, the hero of the duel with Ukraine, and Patrick van Aanholt. as wingbacks.

On his birthday, Jurriën Timber had to hand in his starting place for Matthijs de Ligt, who recovered from a groin injury. The Juventus defender immediately reasserted himself in the back and had several good defensive interceptions.

In any case, Orange was better organized defensively than against Ukraine. The Dutch team gave almost nothing away against the Austrians, who did not get further than a few long shots. That was due to the good organization of Orange, but also to the poor game at the ball of Austria, which showed very little football in the Johan Cruijff ArenA.

Marko Arnautovic looked on from the stands with a concerned look. The striker would have started in the starting lineup against the Netherlands, Austrian national coach Franco Foda revealed, but served a one-game suspension against the Netherlands for his inappropriate cheering behavior against North Macedonia. Before the match, Arnautovic caught up in the stands with Wesley Sneijder, with whom he played together at Inter.

Dumfries important

Where the Orange against Ukraine created opportunities on the assembly line, that part of the game ran much less against Austria. Nevertheless, the Dutch national team took the lead early. And it was again Dumfries, who was at the basis of the goal. After Stefan de Vrij had gone down at the edge of an attacking adventure, Dumfries stormed in. The PSV player was at the ball earlier than David Alaba, who touched the right back of the Orange on the foot. Israeli referee Orel Grinfeld nonchalantly waved the moment away, as he whistled very sloppily anyway, but was whistled back by Poland’s VAR Pawel Gil. Faced with the images, Grinfeld could do nothing but put the ball on the dot. Memphis Depay got the job done, his 27th international goal.

Memphis Depay shoots in the 1-0.

Memphis Depay shoots in the 1-0.

The top scorer of this Orange shot convincingly into the penalty, but did not play great in the match and lost the ball a lot, just like against Ukraine. Depay also did not have his day in front of goal. Although the Dutch national team had more trouble taking chances than against Ukraine, there were good opportunities. After Wout Weghorst’s good deflection, Depay shot the ball high from close range and a ball passed by captain Georginio Wijnaldum was also not spent on the top scorer of Orange. Wijnaldum himself saw a promising shot being blocked.

Outstanding Wijnaldum

The game remained the same after the break. Austria could not break any offensively, but the Orange was also unable to push through for a second goal. The best man on the Dutch side was captain Wijnaldum, who played sovereign in midfield and before that got his hands together in the Johan Cruijff ArenA, although the defense also deserved compliments with the concentrated playing three Stefan de Vrij-Matthijs de Ligt-Daley Blind for the implementation.

The status quo seemed to be broken when Depay managed to find his tall attacking partner Weghorst from a corner, who headed the ball through to De Vrij. The Inter defender found Austrian goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann on his way, after which De Ligt saw the rebound he had shot through an Austrian leg go just wide.

Not much later, De Boer decided to make a triple substitution. To his great disappointment, Blind had to make way for Aké, while Owen Wijndal came in for Van Aanholt and Donyell Malen for Weghorst.

Against Ukraine, the change of Blind was at the expense of the organization and gave the Orange a 2-0 lead. It was thanks to the final offensive and the late 3-2 of Dumfries that the Dutch national team took the three points.

Comfortable lead

Now it was Dumfries who took a comfortable 2-0 lead in the 67th minute. Malen was only in the field for two minutes, when he was sent off well in the depth by Depay. The PSV striker kept a good overview and passed the ball to his teammate Dumfries, who had crashed forward with him, who scored his second European Championship goal and is therefore at the top of the top scorers list together with top strikers such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Romelu Lukaku and Ciro Immobile.

Matthijs de Ligt returned to the base.

Matthijs de Ligt returned to the base.

The Dutch national team knew about the game against Ukraine that a 2-0 lead does not have to offer any certainty, but this time the Orange defense without Blind kept things better in the back. There was still a precarious moment when the ball caromed just wide through Wijndal’s leg, but Stekelenburg had a very quiet evening all in all. De Boer made his European Championship debut in the last fifteen minutes as a replacement for Marten de Roon and can start thinking about how he will fill in the third group match against weak brother North Macedonia. Perhaps that is a good moment to give other players who have not yet taken action, also playing time.

In the last fifteen minutes, Austria did push on and there were a few opportunities. David Alaba, for example, fired a shot right past the intersection from a distance. There was a moment of shock when De Ligt lay down after an aerial duel, but it turned out to be a cramp.

The group win is due to the 2-0 victory for the Orange. Regardless of the result against North Macedonia, the Netherlands will continue EURO 2020 on Sunday 27 June with an eighth final in Budapest.

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