World Champions France proved to be too much for Netherlands in Paris on Sunday night. Oranje lost their UEFA Nations League opener 2-1.

Ronald Koeman made three changes from the side that defeated Peru with Quincy Promes, Davy Propper and Frenkie de Jong all coming into the starting eleven, while Kevin Strootman, Wesley Sneijder and Ruud Vormer dropped out.

Since it was the first game in Paris since France won the World Cup, the home crowd was in a party mood and they saw their side make a decent start with Kylian Mbappe forcing Jasper Cillessen into an early stop. At the other end, Promes curled just wide before Mbappe went close again.

Koeman said before the game that his side couldn’t afford any errors but in the 15th minute, a terrible headed clearance by Promes set Blaise Matuidi into the box and he crossed for Mbappe to tap into the net. Georginio Wijnaldum almost got a chance to equalise but a heavy touch prevented him from racing through on goal.

France were then comfortable but failed to add any further goals. as Cillessen kept them at bay. Netherlands struggled to create chances but in the 65th minute, Wijnaldum put a big opportunity wide. A minute later it was 1-1 as Kenny Tete crossed for Ryan Babel to slot in the equaliser.

Memphis almost gave Netherlands the lead in the 69th minute but he shot into the side netting. Five minutes later, Olivier Giroud restored France’s lead with an excellent finish from Mendy’s cross.

France were lucky not to be playing the final ten minutes with a man less after a naughty off the ball challenge on Babel by Benjamin Pavard. However, the referee only produced a yellow card.

Koeman threw on Daryl Janmaat and Luuk de Jong but Netherlands couldn’t come close to an equaliser before the end as France comfortably held on for the win.

Next up for Netherlands is Germany in Amsterdam in October. France currently top the group with four points.




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