Chanceless evening battered Orange against France. Ronald Koeman’s team goes down 4-0

The Dutch national team had a disastrous evening in Paris, where they were beaten 4-0 by vice world champions France in the European Championship qualification.

The Dutch national team, battered by injuries, a suspension and food poisoning, was completely out of shape in the Stade de France and had nothing to say against France (4-0), which embarrassed the Orange internationally and trailed the fastest 3-0 delivered since 1919. As a result, the return of Ronald Koeman and the start of the European Championship qualification ended in a great disappointment. The most painful thing was that France was not even playing at the top of its game.

It was certain that it would be a monster job against the vice world champion. Where only the sun shone in Koeman’s first period, the national coach was confronted with a hurricane-force headwind for his comeback. The World Cup visitors Luuk de Jong and Vincent Janssen thanked the Orange and in the last competition weekend Frenkie de Jong and Steven Bergwijn joined the injured Teun Koopmeiners and Andries Noppert. To make matters worse, Matthijs de Ligt, Cody Gakpo, Sven Botman, Joey Veerman and Bart Verbruggen suffered stomach flu-like complaints.

Debut Geertruida

Add the suspended Denzel Dumfries to all the absentees and it is clear that Koeman could not rely on twelve players, including five basic players (Noppert, Dumfries, Frenkie, Gakpo and Bergwijn), two substitutes (Koopmeiners and De Jong) and two bench seats (De Ligt and Janssen) during the World Cup quarterfinal against Argentina. Partly because of this, Koeman chose to let Lutsharel Geertruida (as right central defender) make his debut. It fits in with the dream week of the Feyenoord player, who extended his contract until the summer of 2025 and scored the winning goal in The Classic at Ajax (2-3).

The day before the duel in the beautiful Stade de France, Koeman already indicated that he saw more of a right winger than a midfielder in certain matches in Steven Berghuis. And so, in the run-up to his return, the national coach had to make the difficult decision as to who he would post next to the ‘certainties’ Marten de Roon and Georginio Wijnaldum as the third – as he called it – real midfielder: Mats Wieffer or Kenneth Taylor? Wieffer is one of the stars at Feyenoord every week, but Koeman thought Taylor was better able to replace Frenkie.

Wrong choice with Taylor

The choice for Kenneth Taylor in midfield turned out wrong, because Taylor was at the basis of Antoine Griezmann’s French opening goal in the second minute, also played under high tension afterwards and was replaced by Wout Weghorst after more than 32 minutes. At that moment it was already 3-0. In the seventh minute it was Dayot Upamecano, who took advantage of Jasper Cillessen’s half-baked performance (2-0) after a free kick from Griezmann. The third French goal by star and captain Kylian Mbappé was a picture, because striker Randal Kolo Muani cunningly let the ball run out of a pass from Aurelien Tchouameni and thus tricked Geertruida: 3-0. A horrific punishment threatened, but because France never went to extremes, the Netherlands slowly got the chance to play off the nerves.

Depay misses penalty kick

After a nice attack via Steven Berghuis, occasional right back Jurriën Timber and again Berghuis, Georginio Wijnaldum produced the first shot between the posts. Something he repeated a moment later. Memphis Depay had the 3-1 on his shoe on a pass from Xavi Simons, but shot just wide. In the boring second half, a free kick from Depay was saved with great difficulty by Mike Maignan.

After Mbappé put France 4-0 with his second goal of the evening, Depay failed to save the Dutch honor in stoppage time after a weak penalty kick. That was also possible.

Lucky accident

Koeman will never say it out loud. But the national coach of Orange must consider himself lucky that kipkerriegate took place now. France-away can and may be lost – even if the way was embarrassing – and Gibraltar-home Netherlands also wins without the twelve absentees. It would have been much more annoying if the players of Orange would have been struck down by food poisoning in the coming international matches. In June, the Orange squad will play the Final Four of the Nations League in their own country. And in September, Koeman’s selection will cross swords with competitors Greece (September 7, home) and Ireland (September 10, away), while France (October 13, home) and again Greece (October 16) beat the opponents more than a month later. are.

Undoubtedly, the Van Gaal devotees will say that it was naive to play 1-4-3-3 in France with such a flawed team. Koeman will look at it with a smile. Had taken twelve players from the Orange squad in Qatar and the World Cup had become an even bigger disappointment than it was now. Although that was no justification for appearing so sad, as the Dutch national team did in Paris.

‘hell job’

According to Virgil van Dijk, the Dutch national team quickly played a lost game. “If you are already 2-0 behind after 7 minutes, it will be a hell of a job,” said the captain. “Then it is already lost. We started very badly. As a result, we immediately followed the facts. And an opponent with the quality of France then plays it out very easily. This just sucks. We couldn’t recover, lost the duels, suffered too much loss of possession and were penalized.”

What now? “Several factors played a role in this defeat,” said Van Dijk, referring, among other things, to the many absentees from the Orange squad. “We have to discuss that. And then quickly focus on the next game. It seems clear to me that things need to be improved.”