With an early penalty goal from Memphis Depay and a second counter-attack goal by Denzel Dumfries, the Netherlands certified their qualification for the second round of the European Championship against an Austria (2-0) that hardly created danger in Amsterdam and that will be held to play the pass against Ukraine.
The Netherlands is the solo leader of Group C with 6 points at the end of the second day and Austria is second with 3, tied with Ukraine, which beat North Macedonia 2-1, last without points.
Frank de Boer’s men did their homework in front of their audience at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam in a not very showy match and without major shocks, marked by a naive penalty from David Alaba in the 10th minute of the first half.
In a bad night for the new signing of Real Madrid, the Austrian captain stepped on Wenzel Dumfries on the penalty line and Memphis Depay was unforgiving from eleven meters.
With Ronald Koeman, Barcelona coach and architect of the Netherlands’ qualification for the European Championship, in the stands, Depay, who seems to be about to formalize his signing for the Barça club, was able to sign the second on his personal account at the end of the first half, but failed to finish off an empty goal on a resounding occasion.
But the Dutch star shone again in the second half in a goal with the same protagonists as in the first of the tulips: Alaba missed an aerial ball in the center of the field, facilitating a counterattack by Depay, which served Dumfries so that He will finish at pleasure after a deep gallop in the 67th minute.
“I have horse lungs,” the PSV Eindhoven right-back, who was voted best player of the debut for the Dutch with a 3-2 win against Ukraine, had said before the game.
Austria, lacking Marko Arnautovic, who was sanctioned by UEFA with a no-play match for insulting North Macedonian players after scoring a goal on matchday one, had shifted the pressure to the group’s favorites Netherlands.
And the Dutch delivered, pocketing a fast-track qualification for the round of 16 after seven long years without appearing in a major international tournament.