Sports

Nations League: Netherlands see off Germany

Nations League: Netherlands see off Germany
Holland forward Depay is congratulated by his team-mates after scoring his side’s second in the 3-0 victory.
Amsterdam, Oct 14 (IANS) | Publish Date: 10/14/2018 12:19:26 PM IST

A spectacular game by the Netherlands’ left winger Memphis Depay, who scored the second goal and was notable for his technical skills, helped defeat a German squad that looked eternally off-balance and even when a clear scoring possibility presented itself, made nothing of it.

The German squad was coming off some positive results in its last two games, with a tie against France and a victory over Peru, but this Saturday night was a reminder of its poor performance in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, when it was eliminated early on.

What it takes home from Amsterdam is a painful memory and the future of coach Joachim Low in doubt. Germany has not lost to the Netherlands since 2002, and in UEFA Nations League competitions since 1992, reports Efe news.

Nonetheless, Germany had its chances but some wildly off-target shots, plus the fact that German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer looked confused on more than one occasion, plus a sound orange defense, made it a night the visitors might rather forget.

After some minutes of uncertainty at the start, the Netherlands took control of the ball and was more in charge of the field as the minutes ticked by.

Winger Memphis Depay started his show with elusive moves with the ball and passes with surgical precision, catching the German defense off-guard on more than one occasion.

As when his corner kick got an ineffective response from keeper Neuer, and after an unsuccessful shot by Ryan Babel, the ball was finally headed into the net by Virgil Van Dijk to make it 1-0 at minute 30.

After the first minutes of the second half, the changes made by the German coach by bringing in Julian Draxler and Leroy Sane seemed to stabilize his men, who attacked more and kept better possession of the ball, but all was in vain.

Still, it was not until minute 87 that the Netherlands player Quincy Promes raced down the right touchline, tipped the ball to Depay, who, alone in front of Germany’s goalkeeper, booted a low, flat shot that made it a 2-0 game.

With the winner and loser already determined, Wijnaldum scored another goal to boost his team to a 3-0 victory.

Denmark held goalless by Ireland

The Republic of Ireland played out a goalless draw at home to Denmark to earn their first point in the UEFA Nations League.

The visiting Danes, who were missing star playmaker Christian Eriksen, struggled to break down the defensive-minded hosts, whose last two matches ended in 4-1 and 5-1 defeats.

The closest Denmark came to scoring was when Harry Arter cleared Simon Kjaer’s header off the line in the second half on Saturday night, reports Efe news.

The best chance of the game fell to the hosts in the fifth minute, but it would have been hugely controversial had Jeff Hendrick converted the opportunity with just Kasper Schmeichel to beat in the Danish goal.

Hendricks stole the ball off Thomas Delaney, who had stopped playing to allow Ireland’s Arter to receive treatment for an injury, but the Burnley winger placed his shot the wrong side of the upright.

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