AMSTERDAM – A spectacular game by Netherlands left winger Memphis Depay, who scored the second goal and was notable for his technical skills, helped defeat a German squad that looked eternally off-balance and even when a clear scoring possibility presented itself, made nothing of it.
The German squad was coming off some positive results in its last two games, with a tie against France and a victory over Peru, but this Saturday was a reminder of its poor performance in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, when it was eliminated early on.
What it takes home from Amsterdam is a painful memory and the future of coach Joachim Löw in doubt. Germany has not lost to the Netherlands since 2002, and in UEFA Nations League competitions since 1992.
Nonetheless, Germany had its chances but some wildly off-target shots, plus the fact that German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer looked confused on more than one occasion, plus a sound orange defense, made it a night the visitors might rather forget.
After some minutes of uncertainty at the start, Netherlands took control of the ball and was more in charge of the field as the minutes ticked by.
Winger Memphis Depay started his show with elusive moves with the ball and passes with surgical precision, catching the German defense off-guard on more than one occasion.
As when his corner kick got an ineffective response from keeper Neuer, and after an unsuccessful shot by Ryan Babel, the ball was finally headed into the net by Virgil Van Dijk to make it 1-0 at minute 30.
After the first minutes of the second half, the changes made by the German coach by bringing in Julian Draxler and Leroy Sane seemed to stabilize his men, who attacked more and kept better possession of the ball, but all was in vain.
Still, it was not until minute 87 that Netherlands player Quincy Promes raced down the right touchline, tipped the ball to Depay who, alone in front of Germany’s goalkeeper, booted a low, flat shot that made it a 2-0 game.
With the winner and loser already determined, Wijnaldum scored another Netherlands goal to boost his team to a 3-0 victory.