Published: Mon, November 19, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Ronald Koeman says Netherlands have taken enormous steps after France win

Ronald Koeman says Netherlands have taken enormous steps after France win

They dominated the lacklustre world champions from the off and were only denied an even bigger win by a magnificent performance from France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. If the Netherlands can win against France but just earns a draw against Germany, France and the Netherlands would be in a tiebreak situation at the top of the group to determine who goes to the semifinals.

The Netherlands defeated France 2-0 to stay in the battle for berths in the final stage of the UEFA Nations League.

The Netherlands have qualification for the Nations League semi-finals in their sights after beating France 2-0 on Friday to hand Didier Deschamps' side their first defeat since winning the World Cup.

Just a draw would be enough to see Ronald Koeman's team advance to meet other group winners next June, a far cry from the drubbing everyone had expected once they were joined in their Nations League group by the last two world champions.

Former Southampton and Everton boss Koeman said: "This was a complete match at the very highest level".

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They were on the back foot for most of the match and fell behind to a Georginio Wijnaldum strike in the 44th minute, before an injury-time penalty from Memphis Depay sealed the hosts' victory.

"I was not expecting a ideal match from our side but that's really what it was. From the beginning to the end, we played really well", Koeman added.

Georginio Wijnaldum scored just before halftime and Memphis Depay converted a late penalty as the Dutch dominated against the world champions, looking much changed from the side that missed out on the 2016 European Championship and the last World Cup in Russian Federation.

The second goal came in the dying moments of stoppage time, as Depay converted a penalty after France's Moussa Sissoko was called for a foul in the area.

"We tend to praise attacking players, but there is one that impresses me and that's the young De Jong in midfield, with his intelligence, his ability to bring the ball out and get it forward", said Deschamps on Thursday. We've shown on such a night that we've made enormous steps. It is hard to stay patient and wait for your moment.

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