A Memphis Depay goal in the first half and a brace from Georginio Wijnaldum in the second half gave the Netherlands an all-out 3-0 win over North Macedonia in their final UEFA Euro 2020 group match.
With the victory in Amsterdam on Monday, the Oranje march into the knockout phase of the tournament as group leaders with a perfect record, while their opponents are eliminated from the tournament.
The fate of both sides was already known before the game, with Netherlands with the confirmed top spot and North Macedonia guaranteed a bottom light. Igor Angelovski’s team was just proud to play and surprised their long-awaited opponents with a rapid start. The guests had ruled out an offside goal before they hit the post with a long-range shot.
However, the Netherlands quickly found their rhythm and took the lead in the 24th minute. Depay exchanged a one-two with Donyell Malen before shoving his strike partner’s backball into the lower left corner.
After wresting the initiative from their opponents, the Netherlands doubled their lead six minutes into the second half. Depay became the outfitter for Wijnaldum and played an inviting ball over the gate for his captain to knock into an empty net.
The same combination scored the third goal for the Netherlands seven minutes later. After Depay’s low shot was blocked by the Macedonian goalkeeper, Wijnaldum was on hand to crush the rebound and give his team an advantage.
With victory secured, Frank de Boer gave his bankers minutes while his side prepared to face one of the top four third-placed finishers in the round of 16 in Budapest on June 27.
North Macedonia are leaving the tournament with their heads held high after some respectable performances and can look forward to qualifying for the World Cup in September.
With that in mind, the Netherlands’ player ratings are out of the game here.
Netherlands player ratings:
Maarten Stekelenburg: 5/10
Despite being hit twice by goals that were later considered offside, the Dutch goalkeeper had little to do in the game. A clever save after a free kick in the second half was his only big contribution.
Denzel Dumfries: 5/10
Dumfries, one of the tournament stars so far, fought a tempting battle with Ezgjan Alioski on the right. That was one of the highlights of the first half as the PSV man came forward at every opportunity.
With an eye on the knockout phase, Dumfries was replaced by Jurrien Timber at halftime.
Stefan de Vrij: 5/10
He went about his business in the background calmly and efficiently. De Vrij effectively held the opposing attackers in check for 45 minutes before being substituted at half time.
Matthijs de Ligt: 5/10
The Juventus man continues to return to full fitness after missing the opening game. De Ligt appeared calm and sovereign in the midfield of the Dutch three-man chain.
Daley Blind: 5/10 5
The experienced defender played on the left three-man chain and was regularly on the ball for the Netherlands. Blind brought the ball forward in his usual calm and composed manner.
Patrick van Aanholt: 5/10
Despite being the more conservative of the two Dutch full-backs who started the game, Van Aanholt paced up and down the left at every opportunity. He also made some good chances.
Frenkie de Jong: 6/10
He grew into the game after incorrectly placing a few passes in the first half and made for a good run in the Dutch midfield.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 8/10
Wijnaldum shows all the qualities of the excellent box-to-box midfielder that he is. The Dutch captain not only defended diligently, but also scored a brace and used a few tap-ins after late runs into the box.
Ryan Gravenberch: 5/10
As one of two changes in the Dutch starting XI, the youngster was a robust physical presence in the Dutch midfield. Gravenberch contributed both offensively and defensively.
Memphis Depay: 8/10
Depay celebrated his move to Blaugrana with an eye-catching appearance that would delight fans from the Netherlands and Barcelona alike. He scored the first goal of the game and provided the template for the second.
In addition to his goal contributions, Depay led the Dutch line exceptionally well, displaying excellent hold-up play and dazzling dribbling skills.
Donyell Paint: 7/10
Instead of Weghorst in the starting line-up, Malen immediately partnered with Depay and bonded well with his strike partner throughout the game.
The PSV striker picked up the template for Depay’s opener before pushing him through to set up his side’s third goal. Malen was substituted off in the middle of the second half after making a good impression while on the pitch.
Dutch substitutes’ ratings:
Steven Berghuis: 5/10
The Feyenoord winger looked dangerous a few times in the second half. He cut on his favorite left foot but couldn’t put the finishing touches on it.
Jurrien wood: 5/10
The Ajax defender replaced Dumfries as right full-back in the second half and delivered a similar offensive performance. Timber has advanced with great intent on several occasions.
Quincy Promes: 4/10
He found himself in some promising positions after being substituted on in the middle of the second half, but his touch failed him every time.
Wout Weghorst: 5/10
The tall striker came on in the second half and made good use of his size and physicality.
Wout Weghorst was unlucky not to get into the top scorer list. He hit the bar and got into good positions a couple of times only to be overlooked by a teammate.
Cody Gakpo: 5/10
On his international debut for the Netherlands, he was substituted on for the last ten minutes. Gakpo looked dangerous with his pace and tricks against North Macedonia.