Oranje beat Gibraltar 3-0 in Rotterdam
Oranje beat Gibraltar 3-0 in De Kuip in Rotterdam on Monday in their Euro 2024 qualifier. Memphis Depay and Nathan Ake scored the goals on a somewhat underwhelming night for the side.
Ronald Koeman gave Feyenoord midfielder Mats Wieffer his first cap, starting him next to Georginio Wijnaldum in the midfield. Matthijs de Ligt recovered from stomach flu to start the match. The former Ajax center-half missed the France match on Friday.
There was a minute silence pre-match to remember PSV press chief Thijs Slegers who sadly passed away on Monday morning after a long battle with Leukemia.
The Netherlands dominated possession, as you would expect against a team ranked 200th in the FIFA world rankings, but they struggled to create in the first 20 minutes. However, they did take the lead after 23 minutes. A cross from Denzel Dumfries found Memphis Depay, who got there ahead of Gibraltar goalkeeper Dayle Coleing to head it into the open goal.
Oranje showed the most danger from the wings as Wijnaldum had a good chance from a header four minutes later, but it was straight at Coleing. Wout Weghorst was given another two opportunities before halftime, but the striker could not convert, and the Netherlands went into halftime with a very meager 1-0 lead.
The lead was doubled within five minutes of the second half starting. The fullbacks combined as Denzel Dumfries hooked a ball across for Nathan Ake on the other wing to head home.
Gibraltar was forced to continue with ten men shortly after the goal. Liam Walker caught Wieffer with his studs straight on the shin of the 23-year-old and was given a straight red card.
Koeman’s side continued to create chances. Donyell Malen smashed a shot over the bar after turning away from his opponent before Ake and Xavi Simons failed to score from their opportunities.
But Ake continued his fantastic recent form by getting his second after 82 minutes. His shot from the edge of the area was deflected into the far corner.
Oranje ran out 3-0 winners, but it will not do much to help the atmosphere around the squad as more goals were expected pre-match. The Netherlands’ next match is in the Nations League semi-final against Croatia in June.