Netherlands clinches Euro 2020 Round of 16 spot by defeating Austria
The Dutch men's national team became the third team in the Euro 2020 to clinch a spot in the Round of 16 after defeating Austria 2-0 on Thursday. With the victory, fellow Group C team North Macedonia was eliminated from the tournament.
The two teams squared off at the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam. The match was attended by 15,243 people, with attendance limited based on current coronavirus restrictions in the Netherlands.
The first goal was scored early in the match on a penalty. It started in the eighth minute with defender Denzel Dumfries delivering a sharp pass from midfield to fellow defender Stefan de Vrij as he ran an attack into the box. De Vrij was stripped of the ball with a swift tackle on the right side of the box by Martin Hinteregger. Dumfries charged in to pick up the loose ball, and David Alaba stepped hard on Dumfries foot just inside the corner of the penalty area.
The play went for review, and the VAR determined a penalty should be awarded. Alaba was given a yellow card for the tackle. Memphis Depay scored with a shot into the low left corner of the net, just beating Austrian goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann, to make it 1-0 in the 11th minute.
1-0! Alaba gaat op de voet staan van Denzel Dumfries. De VAR grijpt in en Oranje krijgt een penalty.— NOS Sport (@NOSsport) June 17, 2021
Memphis Depay blijft heel rustig en schiet Oranje op voorsprong. Hij is na Ronaldo de enige speler tot nu toe die een penalty benut #nedoos #euro2020 pic.twitter.com/EkLL7mWUSI
Depay and Giorginio Wijnaldum both had chances in the last five minutes of the first half to double the Dutch lead, but were unsuccessful in their attempts. First half possession was split between the two teams, but the Netherlands dominated with six total attempts versus Austria which had two. Despite holding the ball, Austria looked uncoordinated in the initial 45 minutes.
The second half remained quiet for 15 minutes until the Netherlands won a corner which was deftly taken by Depay. Headers by Stefan de Vrij and Matthijs de Ligt failed to cross the goal line.
Dumfries made it 2-0 for Oranje in the 67th minute with an assist from substitute Donyell Malen. The latter picked up a ball dumped into Oranje's offensive area by Depay, and then Malen took off on a breakaway with Dumfries charging on the right. Malen laid the ball off about ten meters from the goal, and Dumfries struck the ball hard on the ground. Bachmann got his hands on it, but the ball bounced off the ground and into the net.
Bachmann fiercely protested the goal saying Dumfries was offsides, for which Bachmann was given a yellow card.
Despite Austria's frustration, a brilliant strike from Alaba in the 81st minute from well outside the penalty area just slightly curled off target for a goal kick. The shot energized Austria bringing them back into the match. A few minutes later, a strike from substitute Karim Onisiwo made it into the hands of goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
The Netherlands finished the match with 47 percent possession, but 14 chances including three on target. Austria had eight attempts and one on target at full time.
One person in the stadium, but not on the pitch was Marko Arnautović. The 32-year-old Austrian forward was suspended one match for insulting one or two North Macedonia players during their Group C match. UEFA determined the insult was not racist, which could have led to a 10-match ban.
Earlier in the day, Ukraine defeated North Macedonia by a score of 2-1. The Netherlands will play North Macedonia in Amsterdam on Monday at 6 p.m. Oranje will complete this stage of the tournament at the top of Group C with a draw or a victory.
That will determine if they play their Round of 16 match on June 26 in London, or on June 27 in Budapest.