The Netherlands made if two wins from two at Euro 2020 as they sealed a spot in the last 16 of the competition with a 2-0 victory over Austria in Amsterdam.
After the thrills of the rollercoaster win against Ukraine in their opening fixture, Thursday night in the Dutch capital was far more straightforward for the hosts as they secured passage from Group C thanks to a goal in each half from Memphis Depay and Denzel Dumfries.
The first came from the penalty spot after just 11 minutes at Amsterdam Arena after Austrian captain David Alaba trod on Dumfries’ foot just inside the box, in a challenge which was confirmed as a spot-kick by the VAR.
Depay stepped up to slot home the penalty confidently, and the lead was doubled by Dumfries in the 67th minute when the ball was unselfishly squared to him by Donyell Malen following a fine team move.
2 – Denzel Dumfries is the second player ever to score in his first two European Championship games for the Netherlands, after Ruud van Nistelrooy. Delighted. pic.twitter.com/t5WLEvEfZZ
— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 17, 2021
This wasn’t seen as a vintage Dutch crop heading into the tournament, but Frank de Boer’s team have two wins from two and sit top of Group C on six points – three ahead of Austria and Ukraine, while North Macedonia are bottom without a win.
Earlier in the day, Ukraine earned a 2-1 win over the Macedonians in Bucharest to boost their qualification chances.
Austria – who themselves beat North Macedonia 3-1 in their opening game – next meet Ukraine at the National Arena in Bucharest on Monday, in a game which will likely determine who finishes second behind the Dutch in the automatic qualifying spots.
🇳🇱 The Netherlands are through to the Round of 16 as group winners! 🎉🎉🎉#EURO2020
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 17, 2021
The third-placed team in the group will be faced with an anxious wait to see if they have secured one of the spots in the last 16 awarded to the four best third-placed finishers.
Elsewhere, Belgium joined Italy in the last 16 by coming from behind to beat Denmark in Copenhagen.