The Netherlands beat Germany for the first time in 16 years as Joachim Löw’s side produced another dismal performance, slumping to a 3-0 defeat in Amsterdam. The loss ramps up the pressure on Germany’s beleaguered coach.
Netherlands 3-0 Germany
(Van Dijk 30′, Depay 86′, Wijnaldum 90′)
Germany’s dismal year under Joachim Löw continued with a spineless performance in Amsterdam.
Löw’s side created plenty of chances but couldn’t finish any of them, as Ronald Koeman’s team ruthlessly disposed of Germany, with a goal before the break and two more in the final five minutes.
The lack of cutting edge in front of goal is a big concern for Löw, given the talent at his disposal. And things won’t get any easier for his team, who now travel to Paris in need of a win against the world champions.
Germany made the stronger start in the Dutch capital, pinning the Netherlands back in the early stages. Timo Werner had the first chance early on, darting onto the end of Thomas Müller’s bent through ball, but was unable to apply to finishing touch to the move.
Müller then came close to scoring himself, unleashing a fine first-time shot from a Toni Kroos cutback, only for Jasper Cillessen to deny him with an athletic save to his right.
The momentum was with Germany but the Netherlands struck to immediately take the wind out of Germany’s sails. A corner from the right was met by Ryan Babel, who out-jumped Jonas Hector to head against the bar, and the rebound was nodded in by the towering figure of Virgil van Dijk.
The Netherlands were centimeters away from making it two shortly after when a low cross was flashed across Manuel Neuer’s goal by Denzel Dumfries. With Babel about to tuck away the Netherlands’ second, Matthias Ginter made a superb goal-line clearance to keep Germany in the game.
Müller spurned a chance to level for Germany when he was put clean through by Emre Can as Germany struggled to find a cutting edge in attack.
Memphis Depay could have made things worse for Germany when he escaped the notice of the very poor Jerome Boateng on the stroke of halftime, but couldn’t direct his header on target — much to the relief of the stranded Neuer.
An open first half gave way to a cagier second as Netherlands sat deeper in an attempt to hurt Germany on the break. Instead, the strategy played into Germany’s hands as it allowed the former world champions to dictate the game — but Löw’s side just couldn’t finish off their chances.
Löw threw on Leroy Sane and Julian Draxler as Germany became increasingly desperate, and Sane missed a golden opportunity to break his 14-game international duck, but snatched at his shot when he only had Cillessen to beat, dragging the ball wide when he had to score.
The Netherlands were a threat on the break and could have wrapped the win when the impressive Depay led the attack alone and went for goal, but Neuer denied him. It mattered little, as Depay sealed a huge win for the Dutch with four minutes to play, capping a slick counter attack after Julian Draxler gave the ball away. Depay’s callous finish showed Germany exactly what needed to be done.
Georginio Wijnaldum put the icing on the cake in stoppage time, gliding past Boateng and Hector, and finishing expertly into the bottom corner to complete a miserable night for the Germans.