Austria punishes anarchy in the Netherlands

Austria brought out the colors of the anarchic Netherlands team no less than in the Berlin Olympics and became the great revelation of the first phase of the Euro Cup by finishing first in a group on very tough paper. In Their fourth participation, third consecutive, already equals the best record in their history by achieving a ticket to the round of 16. And be careful because Ralf Rangnick has formed a notable cast, very well worked and forceful in attack. He has good players forged in the Bundesliga and a striker like Arnautovic who belongs to Inter. The Central Europeans celebrated their feat in style while the Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ played loudly over the public address system, this time not in honor of Bellingham, and Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline.

Deserved punishment for a chaotic Koeman team that could not even be rescued by the goals from Gapko and Memphis in the first half. The ‘Oranje’ threw the first half overboard and then paid for their enormous tactical and defensive gaps, and with two centre-backs like Van Dijk and De Vrij, plus the full-back Aké, the rearguard was supposed to be a reliable line.

Go ahead, the responsibility is yours, but it must be difficult for a tough guy like Ronald Koeman, champion in 1988 with the ‘Oranje’, to endure a first half like the one the Netherlands perpetrated in Berlin. A chaotic group, without soul, at times even lazy. Far below a wonderful hobby that filled the German capital with color and left the Austrians in a clear minority.


Verbruggen, Geertruida, De Vrij, Van Dijk, Aké (Van de Ven, min. 66) Reijnders (Wijnaldum, min. 66), Schouten, Veerman (Xavi Simons, min. 34), Malen (Weghorst, min. 72), Memphis and Gakpo.




Pentz, Posch, Wöber, Lienhart (Baumgartner, min. 68), Prass, Seiwald, Grillitsch (Querfeld, min. 64), Wimmer (Leiner, min. 64), Sabitzer, Schmid (Weimann, min. 90+2) and Arnautovic (Gregoritsch, min. 78).

  • Goals:
    0-1: min. 6, Malen, own goal. 1-1: min. 47, Gapko. 1-2: min. 59, Schmid. 2-2: min. 78, Memphis. 2-3: min. 80, Sabitzer.

  • Referee:
    Ivan Kruzliak (Slovakia). Yellow for Posch, Wimmer (misses the next game) and Querfeld.

  • Incidents:
    Match of the third day in group D, played at the Olympic stadium in Berlin.

Much more professional Austria, intense and ambitious. It is true that she was more in need because she only had three points, the result of her victory against the Cinderella Poland, but at the beginning she overwhelmed the Dutch. And she was fortunate to score in an absurd play. Arnautovic opened the side and Prass’s center without apparent danger was sent into Malen’s own goal. Bad afternoon for the Dortmund footballer, who also missed his country’s only great chance to equalize before half-time in the transition and would later end up injured.

Van Dijk harangued his teammates from the back and Koeman did it from the bench, but no one reacted. Sleepy on a very hot afternoon, so hot that there was a hydration break. Koeman decided to intervene right there. In was Xavi Simons, out was Veerman, a PSV midfielder who had not contributed anything and incurred some of those losses at the start that upset the coaches.

Koeman, desperate

It is surprising but the Austrians were already group leaders at half-time. There must have been anger because the Netherlands came out in a different way, much more pressured. He took advantage of a stupid loss by Grillitsch to equalize right away. Xavi Simons drove and attracted, gave it to Gapko and the good Liverpool striker did the rest. Crop and shoot at the farthest angle. Manual. Start again. Austria already seemed at the mercy of the rival but took advantage of another orange disconnection to turn the group upside down. Grillitsch went in and his cross was headed straight, free of surveillance, by Romano Schmid, an interesting Werder Bremen player.

That goal left the Flying Dutchmen third, but Memphis equalized. The former Atlético striker scored a great goal. The Weghorst tank left it upside down, controlled it with his hips and nailed it in a difficult position. The referee annulled it for handball but the VAR corrected him because Depay’s control was with his hip. But this Austria has a goblin and immediately scored again. Sabitzer entered like Pedro at home and the good Dortmund player fired a tremendous shot. Leader already in the eighth.


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