Liverpool star fires Dutch top to give De Boer first win

A Georginio Wijnaldum double was key to a 3-1 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Netherlands' Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates scoring.
Netherlands' Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates scoring.
Image: John Thys

FRANK DE BOER won his first match as Netherlands coach on Sunday after a Georginio Wijnaldum double in a 3-1 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina shot the Dutch top of their Nations League group.

Liverpool midfielder Wijnaldum struck his goals early in the first half to help new coach De Boer’s break his duck at the fifth attempt following three draws and a defeat, with Memphis Depay scoring the other for the dominant Dutch at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

The win put the ‘Oranje’ a point ahead of Poland in League A, Group 1 before the Poles’ away match against Italy later on Sunday.

The Italians are a further point back going into the evening clash in Reggio Emilia and can also take top spot with a home win.

Bosnia meanwhile will be relegated to League B after a fifth straight Nations League match without a win which leaves them bottom of the group, four points behind third-place Italy with one match left to play.

Wijnaldum’s opener came in an astonishingly simple fashion in the sixth minute, with the 30-year-old strolling into the Bosnia box completely unmarked before tapping home a rolled low pass from Denzel Dumfries.

No Bosnian player picked him up again eight minutes later when he casually met Steven Berghuis’ header across goal to nod the hosts two goals ahead.

Wijnaldum has now scored seven of the Netherland’s last 13 goals and his strikes kept the Dutch in the race to qualify for next year’s semi-finals.

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Depay was also key to both opening goals, the Lyon attacker supplying Dumfries’ for his cross and swinging in a pinpoint ball of his own from which Berghuis supplied Wijnaldum.

Depay got his reward for a fine display eight minutes after the break with yet another tap-in at the end of a sweeping move, with another low cross from Dumfries laying on the 26-year-old for a simple finish.

Substitute Smail Prevljak pulled one back in the 63rd minute but it didn’t stop the away side from dropping down to League B.

© – AFP, 2020

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