Netherlands defeated Denmark 4-2 on Saturday evening in the first test of Louis van Gaal’s 3-4-1-2 formation.

Van Gaal decided to switch from a 4-3-3 to the new formation, which he sees as the best chance for Oranje to win the World Cup. Nathan Ake was the third centre-back with Daley Blind switched to left wing-back. Teun Koopmeiners started alongside Frenkie de Jong, with Steven Berghuis as a ten behind Memphis Depay and Steven Bergwijn. Mark Flekken made his debut in goal.

Netherlands made a good start with Memphis firing over, while Kasper Schmeichel made a good save to deny Bergwijn.

After 16 minutes, Netherlands had the lead with Blind crossing for Bergwijn to head in the opening goal. However, that only lasted four minutes before Jannik Vestergaard headed Denmark level. Flekken failed to claim the cross allowing Vestergaard to net.

Berghuis then missed a good chance to regain the lead for Netherlands but in the 29th minute, the midfielder crossed for Ake to head in to make it 2-1. Berghuis was then brought down before the break leading to a penalty which Memphis calmly netted to add a third.

Christian Eriksen came on for Denmark at the break and he made it 3-2 only two minutes into the second half. Andreas Skov Olsen beat Blind for pace before crossing for Eriksen to fire past Flekken.

Berghuis and Memphis then missed some good chances for Netherlands before Denmark started to see a lot of possession. However, they were unable to hurt the Dutch defence and instead of an equaliser, it was the Netherlands who sealed the win in the 71st minute. Bergwijn was played in by De Jong and he finished well to seal the victory.

The fourth goal led to Van Gaal making a triple change with  Donyell Malen, Tyrell Malacia, and Arnaut Danjuma all coming on. Eriksen hit the post for Denmark, but Netherlands comfortably held on for the victory.

Netherlands now faces Germany on Tuesday.




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