Dumfries show continues: Netherlands without problems against Alpenelf

Dumfries show continues
Netherlands without problems against Alpenelf

Ex-Bavarian David Alaba is too late, the VAR looks at it: Penalty after foul on Denzel Dumfries, the discovery of the previous EM. The 25-year-old PSV Eindhoven full-back has been involved in all five of the Dutch goals so far. They are in the second round, Austria not yet.

After 13 years of waiting, Oranje stormed into the knockout round of the European Football Championship – even without top fan Willem Alexander. With the 2-0 (1-0) against Austria in the second preliminary round match in Amsterdam, the Netherlands moved into the round of 16 as group winners as quickly as possible. This time the king did not cheer in the official gallery. “We want more,” said the again strong Denzel Dumfries afterwards. The Netherlands’ path should not end in the round of 16.

Memphis Depay (11th, penalty kick) and Denzel Dumfries (67th) ensured the end of a dry spell with their goals in front of 16,000 spectators in the Johan Cruyff ArenA. Because the Elftal had last made it out of the European Championship preliminary round in 2008, in 2012 they failed as vice world champion in the German group, in 2016 they did not qualify at all, as at the 2018 World Cup. Opponents in the round of 16 could be the German national team if they were to be third in the group.

The defeat of the Austrians, who still have good chances of progressing ahead of the last group game on Monday against Ukraine, initiated captain David Alaba of all people. In his 83rd international match, with which he drew level with the legend Herbert Prohaska, the long-time Bayern star caused a penalty early on. The future Real Madrid defender had never caused a penalty in 298 Bundesliga games for the record champions. “Bitter” was his mistake, Alaba admitted. But despite the defeat, he was optimistic for the further course of the tournament. “We’re going to Bucharest to win and continue our game,” he said.

Alaba is missing on the offensive

Referee Orel Grinfeeld (Israel) only punished his foul against Dumfries on the edge of the penalty area after video evidence. Alaba had never caused a penalty in 298 Bundesliga games. As in the 3-1 win against North Macedonia, coach Franco Foda had set up the 28-year-old in central defense. Striker Marko Arnautovic was suspended for insulting an opponent. Michael Gregoritsch from Augsburg, who played the winning goal scorer against North Macedonia as a wild card, moved into the first team.

In the Elftal, Wout Weghorst, the Bundesliga striker of VfL Wolfsburg, was again in the starting line-up. Bonds coach Frank de Boer only brought the previously ailing Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus Turin) back into defense compared to the 3-2 win against Ukraine. It took the Austrians almost half an hour to get into the Oranje penalty area with good prospects for the first time. Hoffenheim’s Christoph Baumgartner couldn’t get past de Ligt (28th). A long-range shot by Frankfurt’s Martin Hinteregger also remained harmless (35th). Again, however, the ideas of Alaba, who was tied as a ball distributor in the defense center, were missing in the offensive.

Dumfries ice cold

The Dutch, who temporarily set off an offensive fireworks display against Ukraine, played very controlled. At times they even let Alaba and Co. take the initiative. However, Oranje had the best chance with a counterattack: After a pass from Weghorst, Depay shot completely free over the goal (40th). The hosts defended cleverly even after the break, Austria could not find a recipe. Oldie Maarten Stekelenburg’s goal was hardly in danger. When Oranje picked up the pace, things got serious: Stefan de Vrij failed with a header at goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann, de Ligt with the margin at the blocking Gregoritsch (61).

Dumfries made it better after another counterattack: The 25-year-old exploited the pass from substitute Donyell Malen. Alaba now tried to do more for the offensive in left midfield – after all, a dangerous long-range shot jumped out (81st).