Wing back Denzel Dumfries had a hand in both goals as the Netherlands eased to a 2-0 victory over uninspiring Austria on Thursday and ensured they will win Euro 2020 Group C.
Memphis Depay scored a sixth goal in his last five internationals with a crisply-struck penalty after Austria captain David Alaba stepped on the foot of Dumfries and referee Orel Grinfeld pointed to the spot following the intervention of the Video Assistant Referee.
Depay missed an excellent opportunity to make it 2-0 when he sliced a shot wide with the goal at his mercy, but the home side added a second when Dumfries scored his second goal in as many games in the tournament after being teed up by substitute Donyell Malen.
The Dutch, on six points, cannot be overtaken at the top of the group going into their final game against North Macedonia on Monday. Austria and Ukraine, who have three points each, meet at the same time in Bucharest in a winner-takes-all tussle for second place.
Netherlands have opened their EUROs campaign with back-to-back wins for the third time, also doing so in 2000 as hosts – before being eliminated in the semi-final – and 2008, when they fell to Russia in the quarter-final.
After losing each of their three group stage games at EURO 2012, Netherlands are now unbeaten in nine matches at major tournaments (EUROs + World Cup), the longest run by a European nation since Portugal went 12 without defeat across the 2014 + 2018 World Cups, with EURO 2016 sandwiched in-between.
Austria have suffered defeat in five of their eight matches at the EUROs – all of which have come in the group stages – whilst they failed to score in four of those defeats.
After failing to score in his first 19 international matches for Netherlands, Denzel Dumfries has netted in back-to-back games for his country. Indeed, he is just the second Oranje player to net in his first two appearances at the EUROs, after Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2004.
Matthijs de Ligt completed 100% of his passes in tonight’s victory over Austria (40/40), a record for a Netherlands player in a EUROs match since 1980.
Memphis Depay’s opening goal was his eighth for Netherlands since Frank De Boer took the job in September 2020, with only Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku netting more across all competitions for a European nation over this period (10).
Netherlands’ Maarten Stekelenburg (38y 268d) is now the second-oldest goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet at the European Championships, after Gábor Király, who also kept one against Austria in 2016 (40y 74d).
There was an age difference of 19 years and 236 days between Netherlands duo Maarten Stekelenburg and Ryan Gravenberch, the biggest age-gap between two teammates in a game in European Championship finals history.
Including Memphis Depay’s spot-kick for Netherlands, three penalties were awarded across today’s three EUROs matches, the most in a single day in the competition since 1980 (also Ukraine’s Ruslan Malinovskiy and North Macedonia’s Ezgjan Alioski).