The disciplined Dutch team cracks but does not bow to the French: 0-0

Where will the adventure in Germany take the Dutch team? The question becomes more intriguing after Friday night’s performance against top seed France, a World Cup finalist in Qatar a year and a half ago. With a compact and disciplined game, national coach Ronald Koeman’s team held up well at the Red Bull Arena.

There wasn’t much to argue about in the 0-0 draw, although the Netherlands certainly couldn’t create enough danger in the second half. But the battle between two tactically evenly matched teams was fascinating from start to finish. The French had more quality, but did not do enough to destroy this well-organized Dutch team.

In fact, Holland could have taken the victory in the second half with a little luck. However, a goal by Xavi Simons was disallowed. After a long study, the video referee confirmed that Denzel Dumfries had interfered with the goalkeeper by shooting in an offside position. Then a line through 1-0.

The goal was later deemed unjustified by Koeman and captain Virgil van Dijk. “I think Denzel hindered the goalkeeper,” Koeman said. “But the bouncer didn’t react and it wasn’t because Denzel was there. So Denzel didn’t get in the way of the goalkeeper.”

Closing of the next placement round

The draw already indicated that this Dutch team is further ahead than Koeman’s team, which last year lost twice to France without a chance. The naivety that Holland showed at the time was not present in Leipzig. There are some caveats to this. There were still too many things neglected in the construction. And Kylian Mbappé was not with the rival. The medical staff did not consider it wise to play so soon after the fracture to his nasal bone. The future Real Madrid star stayed on the bench.

It really wasn’t necessary in this group match. France and the Netherlands are heading to the next round, especially thanks to Austria’s victory over Poland (3-1). Taking into account the evolution of other groups, things must be strange if they are left out of the round of 16. Of the number three of the six groups, four countries will advance. Holland and France now have four points.

At least 20,000 Dutch fans formed a backdrop in Leipzig in which the color orange strongly predominated. But a few individuals, probably drunk, from that legion of some 20,000 people put a stop to this joyful madness. They threw beer, including glasses, at Antoine Griezmann, set off fireworks and whistled the Marseillaise, the French national anthem.

Koeman’s tactical play

Once the ball rolled, it turned out that the adjustments Koeman had made to the starting eleven worked well. He had killed Joey Veerman after his poor performance against Poland. Holland needed more running ability against the dynamic French midfield than Volendammer has. That’s why Tijjani Reijnders started in his place, alongside Jerdy Schouten. Jeremie Frimpong started on the right wing, which caused Xavi Simons to move to the ’10’ position behind the striker. That was a surprising choice by Koeman because he previously stated that he did not consider Simons as a midfielder but as a wing forward.

Tactically not everything went wrong. France was allowed to have more of the ball, Holland wanted to maintain control and wait for mistakes. A chic contra team, this Dutch team. This almost led to success in the first minute. The speedy Frimpong headed alone towards goalkeeper Maignan after a rebound from Simons. His attempt was not good, the Internazionale goalkeeper managed to hit the ball just enough to turn it into a corner.

This is the recipe the Netherlands wanted to use tonight. When he had the ball he wanted to be patient, but there were still too many carelessness. who made mistakes The Blues also. That caused outbreaks that demonstrate the speed that this Dutch team has. Gakpo saw that Maignan shot well. Frimpong continued to threaten. Simons produced a weak shot in a promising shooting position. On the other hand, there were two moments of danger from Griezmann.

Depay great dissonance

The great dissonance up front for the Dutch team was Memphis Depay. Just like against Poland, the man with the white ribbon did not contribute enough to this Oranje. Fellow players can’t reach him because he ran into cover. Or his own passes ended in French feet. When he caused Reijnders problems with a hospital ball, Depay blamed the midfielder. At the beginning of the second half, the orange wall began chanting Wout Weghorst’s name. Twente’s pinch hitter arrived late to relieve Depay.

The French were and continued to be better and more dangerous in the second half, with N’Golo Kanté again as the protagonist. But they didn’t score. A header from Tchouaménie went over the top. Griezmann met the again strong Bart Verbruggen from close range. Dembélé pushed the ball. The Netherlands faltered in that phase, but they held firm and thus made the prospects for the rest of the tournament a little brighter.

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