loss against Italy in consolation final Nations League

loss against Italy in consolation final Nations League

NOS Football

  • Jesse Wieten

    Dutch national team editor

  • Jesse Wieten

    Dutch national team editor

Consolation Nations League final: summary Netherlands – Italy

The Dutch team was by no means able to polish its tarnished record in the battle for Nations League bronze. Italy was too strong 3-2 in the Grolsch Veste in Enschede.

With only one meager victory over Gibraltar (European Championship qualification), defeats against France (European Championship qualification), Croatia and Italy (Nations League) and 11 goals against in four games, national coach Ronald Koeman’s worries are great. The start of his second term is dramatic.

Watch the reaction of national team coach Ronald Koeman and players in the video carousel below.

Full of confidence, Koeman stood before the NOS camera with a cheerful look beforehand. He wanted to build on the good things in the lost semifinal match with Croatia and had made only one change. Teun Koopmeiners made way for Noa Lang, Xavi Simons was given a chance at 10.

Lightning start Italy

In the first few minutes, the attacking play looked fresh with Frenkie de Jong spinning away and Simons and Lang frolicking. That didn’t last long. Koeman’s cheerful look quickly turned into a worried one. After a header from Giacomo Raspadori, Federico Dimarco popped Italy into the lead with a hard shot into the far corner.

Dimarco pops Italy to 1-0 against Orange in consolation final Nations League

Inter left-back Dimarco was outlawed and a slide by clubmate Denzel Dumfries came too late. It was the early lead that Italy, changed by national coach Robert Mancini in seven places from the semifinal against Spain, wanted.

Orange lacks pace, ingenuity and care

The Azzurri were able to sit back and Orange lacked the pace, ingenuity and care to play through them. Things went from bad to worse for Orange.

Again Dimarco was able to advance unhindered, Mats Wieffer still won the duel from Mateo Retegui, but through Wilfried Gnonto the ball went to Davide Frattesi and he scored: 0-2.

Frattesi doubles Italian lead against the Netherlands: 0-2

It was already quiet in the not sold-out Grolsch Veste, but then it became deadly quiet. At the drinking break, Koeman’s anger was easy to see and hear. His look went from cheerful to worried to furious in half an hour.

Simons caused some danger with his dribbles and also embellished some free kicks, which resulted in nothing. Five minutes before halftime, Cody Gakpo had the Orange’s best chance. The Liverpool striker placed the ball well wide.

Angry Koeman intervenes

It was not only Koeman who was disgruntled, as was evident at halftime. The crowd made itself heard and treated Orange to a whistling concert. Koeman intervened and left Donyell Malen, Lutsharel Geertruida and Lang in the dressing room. Georginio Wijnaldum, Steven Bergwijn and Wout Weghorst came into the squad.

It produced an offensive from a slightly more incisive Orange in the second half. Steven Bergwijn provided the tying goal in the 68th minute. He took out Dimarco and slid in with his left. The hope for a turnaround was short-lived.

After Dumfries lost the ball, Italian substitute Federico Chiesa was able to walk right through and even score unhindered by the waiting Virgil van Dijk. With a free kick reminiscent of the World Cup goal against Argentina, Teun Koopmeiners and goal scorer Wout Weghorst provided a rebound, but the goal was disallowed due to offside.

Wijnaldum did score in the final minute after a nice pass from substitute and rookie Joey Veerman: 2-3. The Dutch did not go any further, despite some hectic moments in injury time. Koeman’s sights are now set on the European Championship qualifiers against Greece and Ireland in September.

Kayleigh Williams