With a goal from Memphis Depay and two goals from Georginio Wijnaldum, Netherlands struck down North macedonia (3-0) in a game with nothing at stake in which the ‘Oranje’ added its third victory in the Eurocup and presented his credentials as a candidate for the degree, after seven years without stepping on a big tournament.
Before a fierce North Macedonia that could surprise, Barcelona’s new signing opened the scoring in the first half, he signed his first big game of the Eurocup and led the team of Frank de Boer, who came to the duel classified as first of the Group C and who goes up a notch in quality in every encounter
Netherlands ends with 9 points, 8 goals for and 2 against-, ahead of Austria, who defeated Ukraine, third, and with North Macedonia as the last classified in the first Eurocup of the Balkan team.
De Boer went out for all, with his traditional 5-3-2, only two changes compared to the starting eleven of the victory against Austria and, above all, hungry for goals in front of their audience at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Ámstedam. Ryan Gravenberch, a 19-year-old Ajax midfielder, came in instead of Marten De Roon, who had a yellow, and Donyell Malen, 22, a PSV Eindhoven forward, for Wout Weghorst. They worked well in a very vertical equipment and with physical amplitude even in a game in which Denzel Dumfries, the 25-year-old right-back of PSV Eindhoven, made no difference, who is one of the revelation footballers of the tournament and driving force for the Dutch.
When the teams were still testing each other, North Macedonia surprised the counterattack with a goal by Ivan Trickovski, disallowed for offside, served by the veteran Goran Pandev, who after 121 games and about to turn 38 years old was wearing for the last time the shirt of your selection. Netherlands was growing, with Memphis Depay, Dufries and Wijnaldum showing their teeth at Macedonia, who did not give up the counter and was about to score with a shot from the edge of the area by Aleksandar Trajkovski that hit a stick.
And until then the equality lasted. It was just after, also on the counterattack in the first part of many street-rushers, when the first of the Dutch arrived, with a clean bill from Memphis Depay. The Dutch star, who had not shone until now, opened from midfield for Donyell Malen, who assisted him back from the wing as the Dutch “lion” scored his second goal in the championship in the 24th minute.
The ‘Oranje’ could increase its advantage still in the first half, but it was necessary to wait for the second half – with Timber and Berghuis instead of De Vrij and Dumfries – for the Netherlands to certify their victory against an increasingly weak Balkan team. The goals were scored by Wijnaldum, with Memphis Depay as an essential partner. The new Barça forward served the second for the new Paris Saint-Germain player to finish at pleasure in the 51st minute.
The offensive duo of the ‘Oranje’ returned to work in the 58th minute, when a beautiful triangulation between Frenkie De Jong, Donyell Malen and Memphis Depay ended with a shot from the last one that was saved in the first instance by the Norman goalkeeper of Rallo Vallecano Stole Dimitrievski, that nothing could do when Wijnaldum pushed the reject to the network.
The Dutch, who enjoyed opportunities to increase the score, They will play the round of 16 on June 27 in Budapest against the third-placed from group D, E or F, depending on which are the best third parties. In the absence of playing their last days, Croatia, Spain and Portugal occupy those positions, respectively.
The emotional point of the match came in the 67th minute, when veteran Goran Pandev, captain of North Macedonia, was substituted and his teammates made a farewell hall to the great living legend of Macedonian football. Although Pandev failed to score, as against Austria, he assumed the weight of the team and left an assist canceled for offside and some heel hit to close a career with 121 international appearances and 37 goals for the North Macedonia national team.
3 – Netherlands: Stekelenburg; Van Aanholt, Blind, De Vrij (Timber, m.46), De Ligt, Dumfries (Berghuis, m.46); F. De Jong (Gakpo, m.79), Wijnaldum, Gravenberch; Memphis Depay and Malen (Promes, m.66).
0 – North Macedonia: Dimitrievski; Ristovski, Velkovski, Musliu; Elmas, Ademi (Nikolov, m.78), Tricovski (Churlinov, m.56), Bardhi (Stojanovski, min.78), Alioski; Trajkovski (Hasani, m.67) and Pandev (Kostadinov, m.67)
Goals: 1-0, m.24: Memphis Depay; 2-0, m.51: Georginio Wijnaldum; 3-0, m.58: Georginio Wijnaldum.
Referee: Referee: István Kovács (ROU). He admonished the Norsemen Stefan Ristovski (m.18), Visar Musliu (m.47) and Ezgjan Alioski (m.65).
Incidents: Match corresponding to the third day of Group C of the European Championship played at the Johan Cruyff Arena stadium in Amsterdam before some 16,000 spectators with a capacity of 55,500 seats. It was the last international game for Goran Pandev, who has left the North Macedonia team.