Battered Orange starts second Koeman era with demasqué in France: 4-0
Watch the summary of France – Netherlands
The Dutch team started the qualification for the 2024 European Championship with a hopeless 4-0 defeat against France. Especially the start was dramatic, after 21 minutes there was already a 3-0 score on the board in the Stade de France.
The Netherlands started the match with a completely different eleven than national coach Koeman had wanted. Frenkie de Jong and Steven Bergwijn were missing through injury, Cody Gakpo, Matthijs de Ligt, Sven Botman, Joey Veerman and Bart Verbruggen due to a stomach flu virus, and Mats Wieffer was also not fit enough to start the match.
Lutsharel Geertruida made his debut with the Oranje as a result, and Kenneth Taylor and Xavi Simons were also in the starting lineup, in which Georginio Wijnaldum and goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen returned after an absence for a while.
The Netherlands started the game against the losing World Cup finalist with fresh courage, but very soon there was nothing left of it.
Already in the second minute, France took the lead: Antoine Griezmann trumped Kenneth Taylor in midfield and via Randal Kolo Muani and Kylian Mbappé, the ball again found its way to the pink-haired midfielder, who left Cillessen defenseless (1-0).
Griezmann scores quick 1-0 for France against Orange
Time to recover from the disastrous start was not granted to the Netherlands. For in the eighth minute it was already 2-0.
Cillessen let a free kick from the side by Griezmann bounce off his body and via the chest of Dayot Upemecano the ball rolled through the legs of the Orange goalkeeper into the goal.
Upamecano doubles France’s lead against Orange
The satisfied French then shifted down a gear and allowed the Netherlands the ball. That actually led to some chances for the Dutch.
The Netherlands’ first successful attack ended with a weak shot by Wijnaldum, Steven Berghuis did not get the ball right after an excellent pass from Simons, a shot by Memphis Depay was blocked and Wijnaldum mowed over the ball after a pass from Taylor in a promising position.
The pinpricks may have given the Dutch some courage, but ‘Les Bleus’ were implacable and in the 21st minute, after a quick switch, the third French goal attempt was also a hit.
The hitherto fairly invisible Mbappé also proved invisible to the Dutch defense: he ran away from Geertruida’s back and, after a pass from Aurélien Tchouaméni and a clever cross from Kolo Muani, popped up only in front of the hopeless Cillessen: 3-0.
Mbappé scores third French goal in dramatic first half for Orange
It was 104 years ago, against Sweden in 1919, that the Dutch team was so quickly behind 3-0. National coach Koeman intervened and replaced the hapless Taylor with Wout Weghorst after only half an hour.
The Dutch had one more chance before halftime – Depay shot wide – and Cillessen managed to tap a header from Ibrahima Konaté out of the corner, but the Dutch were relieved when Italian referee Maurizio Mariani whistled for halftime.
Curious free kick
Also in the second half, the Dutch team hardly became dangerous. However, after a curious moment, the Dutch were awarded a free kick at an interesting spot.
Tchouaméni determined that the ball was leaking and picked it up, but referee Mariani had not given permission for that. Hands, therefore, and a free kick.
With Weghorst as a lightning rod for the French wall, thoughts went back to the World Cup quarterfinals against Argentina. Depay shot the ball past the wall, however, goalkeeper Mike Maignan saved with difficulty.
Pair of teasing shots
The Orange did not get beyond a few teases, even after the coach replaced Marten de Roon, Simons and Berghuis with Daley Blind, Davy Klaassen and Donyell Malen.
Fortunately for the Netherlands, France didn’t need to anymore. Mbappé had another great chance after a mistake by Klaassen – Cillessen saved – and Maignan had to intervene on a Malen effort after a rare successful Dutch attack.
Just before time it seemed to be 4-0 for France after yet another lightning-fast switch, but substitute Moussa Diaby was offside. The fourth French goal still fell in the 88th minute: Mbappé did it all by himself and took an effective shot from just inside the sixteen.
Mbappé shoots fourth in for France
In injury time, the Dutch got another penalty after hands from Upamecano. But completely in line with the match, Depay’s penalty and his rebound were stopped by Maignan.
Gibraltar over the Netherlands
Monday follows a chance for the Orange shirts to recover from the poor turn in France. Then the second European Championship qualifier is scheduled against Gibraltar, which, like the Netherlands, lost its first game. The dwarf state had to acknowledge its superiority to Greece (0-3).