Impressive Netherlands Crush Ronaldo's Portugal
International Friendly Report: Portugal v Netherlands 26 March 2018
Result: Portugal 0-3 Netherlands
Date: 26 March 2018
Venue: Stade de Genève
Netherlands scored three first-half goals for a resounding 3-0 victory over Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in an international friendly in Geneva.
Portugal made the brighter start, putting the Dutch under constant pressure, but it was the three-time World Cup finalists who got the opener following an instinctive finish by Memphis Depay.
That was the first goal in the Ronald Koeman era after they went down 1-0 to England in the former’s first match since taking up the hotseat.
The hosts saw an appeal for a penalty turned away after Ronaldo looked to have been brought down after 30 minutes.
They were struck by a further blow after Ryan Babel rose to meet Mathias De Ligit’s cross for a thunderous close-range header two minutes later.
It was proving an uphill task for Portugal to stage a comeback with each passing minute, but Bruno Hernanes came close with a lob but couldn’t find the target.
Hernanes produced a similar effort minutes later but his effort was rather tame on this occasion in front of a rosy Geneva.
At the other end, Memphis looked for his brace but Anthony Lopez was alert to guide his header clear from danger with half-time fast approaching.
Before they knew it, the Dutch eventually added to their tally with Virgil Van Dijk connecting to De Ligit’s layoff for a thumping finish past Lopez just before the break.
The start of the second half saw chances few and far between for both sides, but the Netherlands were looking the more likely to get the next goal.
Further misery befell the Portuguese after Joao Cancelo saw red for a second bookable offence a minute after the hour mark.
Seven minutes later, Ronaldo made way for Joao Moutinho to a warm applause, with the European champions still trailing and battling for a way back.
As the amount of goalmouth action dried up, the 2010 World Cup runners-up ran out comfortable victors.