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Netherlands Defeats Austria 2-0 To Secure Round Of 16 Spot

 


Memphis Depay's early penalty kick ensured the Netherlands won to a 2-0 win over Austria in Amsterdam on Thursday, their second straight victory at Euro 2020 securing qualification for the last 16 already as winners of Group C. Depay made no mistake and scored from the spot in the 11th minute after David Alaba's foul on Denzel Dumfries was spotted by the Israeli referee only after he had come across to review the images. Dumfries, so impressive in the thrilling opening 3-2 win over Ukraine, added another midway through the second half, his second goal of the tournament.

The Dutch were comfortable at home in the Johan Cruyff Arena and Frank de Boer's side are so far making a success of their first major tournament appearance since the 2014 World Cup.

That is great news for De Boer, whose predecessor as national coach, current Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman, was among the spectators.

Ukraine beat North Macedonia 2-1 earlier in Bucharest and, with head-to-head the first tiebreaker, the Dutch now cannot be caught at the top of the group.

They have six points, while Austria and Ukraine have three and North Macedonia nothing.

That means De Boer can rest players for the final group game against North Macedonia on Monday, safe in the knowledge that the Dutch will be going to Budapest for a last-16 tie on June 27 against a third-place finisher.

De Boer said coming into the Euro that the 1988 champions were "between the fourth and eighth-best team" and already they can see their path opening up to the quarter-finals.

They will still need to improve if they are to stand a chance of going any further, but they appear to be finding their feet in the 3-5-2 system that De Boer has controversially opted for.

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