The Netherlands hammered 4-0 by France in Euro 2024 qualifier
Ronald Koeman made the worst possible start to his second reign as Netherlands manager, losing 4-1 to France in his first game on Friday. Antoine Griezmann, Dayot Upamecano, and Kylian Mbappe got the goals for the French side in the first match of the qualification campaign for the European Championships of 2024.
Koeman went with a young side, giving Kenneth Taylor, Xavi Simons, and Lutsharel Geertruida a start. It was Geertruida's debut for the national side. Oranje was plagued with a virus earlier this week, meaning that several players, including Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, and Cody Gakpo, were unavailable for the match.
France took the lead after only one minute played. A well-timed slide tackle by Antoine Griezmann sent the ball to Randall Kolo Muani, who played the ball to Kylian Mbappe on the wing; his pass found Griezmann who had kept running after his tackle and finished perfectly into the near corner.
The Netherlands was two goals down within the game's first ten minutes. Again it was Griezmann showing his class with a dangerous cross that Jasper Cillessen spilled onto the knee of Dayot Upamecano before going into the net.
Mbappe got his goal after only 21 minutes to make it 3-0 for the French. Kolo Muani missed a pass by Aurelien Tchouameni to the benefit of Mbappe, who was now one-on-one with Cillessen. As usual, the Paris Saint Germain forward made no mistake in giving the NEC goalkeeper no chance. This was the quickest that the Netherlands had gone 3-0 behind in a hundred years. Sweden made it 3-0 after 20 minutes in 1919 against the Dutch.
Koeman made a first-half sub to try to turn the tide taking off the unfortunate Kenneth Taylor and bringing on Manchester United forward Wout Weghorst.
The second half was a more low-key affair, with France creating little and the Dutch lacking the quality to trouble them. A bad pass by Davy Klaassen gave Mbappe another opportunity to score after 78 minutes played, but Cillessen was able to save the attempt.
However, Mbappe got his second ten minutes later, and again it was because of sloppy play by Koeman’s side. This time it was Memphis Depay who was dispossessed with the ball reaching Mbappe. The winger twisted and turned on the ball until he found the right angle and smashed an unstoppable shot past Cillessen into the far corner.
Depay’s night went from bad to worse when he missed a penalty with the last kick of the game. The referee awarded a penalty after Weghorst headed the ball onto Upamecano’s hand; however, it made no difference as Depay’s penalty was below par, with the rebound also being saved by France goalkeeper Mike Maignan.
Luckily for the Netherlands, their next opponent should be much less challenging as they host Gibraltar in de Kuip on Monday evening. Gibraltar lost their first match of the group 0-3 to Greece on Friday. France will face Ireland away.