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Fiercely defended by the Hernández brothers, led with mastery and rhythm by Griezmann and Rabiot, animated by the imagination of Coman on the right wing and brutally decisive in the boots of Mbappé, the France team qualified for the Euro 2024. It did so with hardly any opposition, this Friday in Amsterdam, against a team from the Netherlands decimated by an epidemic of casualties.

Países Bajos

1

Bart Verbruggen, Aké (Mickey van de Ven, min. 80), Virgil Van Dijk, Quilindschy Hartman, Lutsharel Geertruida, Xavi Simons (Steven Bergwijn, min. 80), Marten de Roon (Mats Wieffer, min. 45), Tijani Reijnders , Denzel Dumfries (Jeremie Frimpong, min. 62), Joey Veerman y Wouter Weghorst (Malen, min. 38)

2

France

Mike Maignan, Ibrahimovic, Theo Hernandez, Lucas, Jonathan Clauss (79th minute), Aurelien Tchouameni, Rabiot, Griezmann (86th minute), Kingsley Coman (Giroud, 70th minute) and Randal Kolo Muani (Marcus Thuram, 79 mins) and Kylian Mbappe

Goals 0-1 min. 7: Kylian Mbappe. 0-2 min. 52: Kylian Mbappe. 1-2 min. 83: Quilindschy Hartman.

Referee Felix Zwayer

Yellow cards Joey Veerman (min. 28), Denzel Dumfries (min. 50), Aurelien Tchouameni (min. 93) and Kylian Mbappe (min. 95)

“Come on guys!” Virgil van Dijk’s bass voice encouraged them. The captain saw it coming. The faces of the young Reijndeers, Veerman, Simons and De Vrij showed anguish in the locker room tunnel of the Johan Cruyff Arena, the temple of Dutch football. Outside, the crowd packed the stands. The expectation was maximum. France, the most powerful team in Europe, was waiting in front of them, an undefeated team in Group B, which arrived at the event after five wins in five games, 12 goals for and none against. A relentless invader in the imagination of the Netherlands’ boys, forced to rise to the bar and overcome the injury crisis suffered by his team.

The list was impressive: Gakpo, Depay, Luuk de Jong, Frenkie de Jong, Klaassen, Timber, Berghuis, Cillessen, De Ligt and Koopmeiners. Too substantial a platoon in a country with limited resources. Absences impossible to cover without showing serious problems against France. Difficulties from the first pass to the last. As much as Koeman organized his players to simplify the transitions as much as possible – continually changing orientation, looking for the nine with 40-meter balls that jumped lines, and trying to avoid inside play at all costs—the circulation of the ball was lost in the first touches. Few wanted the ball at the start and few received it with time in the last meters. The Dutch public, so demanding, so sybarite, begged for a little play out of charity, without receiving any more concessions than those offered by the rival, Deschamps’ France, always inclined to allow itself to be dominated a little. But not like that. Van Dijk and his boys had nothing to take advantage of. At times, the visiting dominance became overwhelming.

Seven minutes into the game, Coman dismantled the left bastion of the defense Orange, formed in a line of five but unable to anticipate the actions of a dizzying maneuver. Griezmann looked at the apex of the play, supported the winger, and Mbappé took advantage of the resulting mess, out of Geertruida’s radar and far from Vab Dijk’s mark, who took care of Kolo Muano, the PSG striker. Appearance, volley and goal.

Bad Taste and Quilindschy

Once it was 0-1, France retreated a few steps and Holland was unable to advance in the spaces that Tchouameni and the cast that accompanied him in the midfield closed. The Madrid pivot only had to sit on the sofa and spread his legs on the living room table. They took great care of him. Rabiot is generous. In all directions, also to assist Mbappé with a majestic wall, prior to 0-2.

The game seemed close when the hour mark had passed Deschamps decided to rest the starters. The changes trickled down. Clauss came out and a boy with a foreboding name settled on the right side: Malo Gusto. Enough for a beardless Feyenoord winger named Quilindschy and surnamed Hartman, to cover himself in glory on his debut with a handful of tricks, one resulting in a goal.

Portugal and Belgium take a decisive step

In the other match in Group B, Greece beat Ireland away (0-2) and moved ahead of the Netherlands in the table. In the other most relevant matches of the day, Portugal beat Slovakia (3-2) and secured the lead in Group J; while Belgium took the victory in their visit to Austria in Vienna (2-3) and secured their participation in the tournament to be held in Germany next year.

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By Jane Austen

Jane Austen is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering stories that resonate with readers worldwide. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to journalistic integrity, Ganesan has contributed to the media landscape for over a decade, covering a diverse range of topics including politics, technology, culture, and human interest stories.