Netherlands took a huge step towards the European Championships after sealing a 1-0 win over Greece in Athens.

After the results on Friday, The Netherlands went into the game knowing it was a must-not lose if they wanted to keep their qualification fate in their own hands. Ronald Koeman made two changes from the loss to France with Mats Wieffer and Steven Bergwijn coming in for Marten de Roon and Joey Veerman.

From the start, the Netherlands dominated the ball but they could not break down the Greek defence. Shots from range by Tijjani Reijnders were the only efforts for Oranje early on.

Then in the 26th minute, Virgil van Dijk went down in the box and the Netherlands were awarded a penalty. Weghorst stepped up but saw his poor spot-kick saved by Odysseas Vlachodimos.

Just before the break, Bergwijn got played in on goal but from an angle his strike was punched wide by Vlachodimos.

At the break, Donyell Malen replaced Lutsharel Geertruida and Koeman reverted to 4-3-3. It resulted in a big chance quickly for Bergwijn but he was denied by Vlachodimos. After a good run from Reijnders, Simons fired wide.

As the half wore on, Greece came out of their shell and they increased the pressure on the Netherlands, who brought on Brian Brobbey for his debut. Joey Veerman and Micky van de Ven also appeared and the latter almost made a big error but Greece couldn’t capitalise.

The home side were pushing but then in the last minute, Denzel Dumfries was pulled down after a good lay-off from Brobbey. After a VAR check, the penalty stood and Van Dijk fired in the winning spot kick.

Just before the end, Brobbey was taken down but despite VAR asking the referee to take a look, no penalty was given. It didn’t matter in the end as the Netherlands held on to win.

Netherlands are now second and they only need one win from their last two games to seal their place at the Euros. Next month, there is a home tie with the Republic of Ireland and a tie in Gibraltar.




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