UEFA Nations League
Result: Netherlands 2-0 France
Date: 16 November 2018
Venue: Stadion Feijenoord
The Netherlands maintained their hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Nations League finals after defeating World champions France, while Germany were relegated to League B in the process.
The Oranje should have opened the scoring in the second minute after Memphis Depay went through on the right side of the box and played a square pass to Georginio Wijnaldum inside the six-yard box but the Liverpool man could not pick his spot as he fired straight at France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Depay had a chance himself for Ronald Koeman’s charges in the 12th minute after finding space on a through ball from just inside the box but he too struck his effort straight at Lloris, going for power instead of placement.
The hosts' dominance was fading after half-an-hour , with Kylian Mbappe particularly threatening for France on counter-attacks
However, Wijnaldum broke the deadlock for the hosts a minute before halftime, poking home from the rebound after Lloris had parried Ryan Babel’s initial strike.
The Dutch deservedly went into the break 1-0 up after creating the better chances and stifling Les Bleus who were yet to find their rhythm.
France were surprisingly patient in their play ten minutes into the second stanza, which failed to yield any chances at goal.
Virgil van Dijk went close to making it 2-0 for the Orange on the hour-mark with a free header inside the box following a corner, but his effort missed a little over the bar.
Lloris was keeping the World Cup Champions in the game, denying the likes of Depay and Denzel Dumfries with 15 minutes remaining in the half..
Depay finally got on the scoresheet for the Orange after netting deep into stoppage time from the penalty spot after midfielder Frankie De Jong was brought down inside the box.The French, meanwhile, can secure top spot if they avoid defeat against Germany on Monday evening.