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Euro PICS: Dutch thrash North Macedonia; Austria in last 16

Images from Euro 2020 matches played on Monday.

IMAGE: Netherlands’ Memphis Depay celebrates after scoring the first goal against North Macedonia during their Group C match at Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam on Monday. Photograph: Piroshka van de Wouw – Pool/Getty Images

Georginio Wijnaldum scored twice and Memphis Depay added to his goal haul in a 3-0 Netherlands win over North Macedonia on Monday to keep their 100% record at Euro 2020 — but not before surviving some early scares at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

 

The Dutch had already secured top place in Group C but emphasised their dominance with a full haul of points as North Macedonia exited the tournament with none.

Depay opened the scoring in the first half and Wijnaldum added two in the space of seven minutes to go ahead of Marco van Basten on the list of his country’s scorers.

The captain now has 25 goals for the Netherlands, who head to Budapest for their last-16 match on Sunday against one of the best third-placed finishers from Groups D, E or F.

Netherlands' Matthijs de Ligt battles for possession with North Macedonia's Feran Hasani 

IMAGE: Netherlands’ Matthijs de Ligt battles for possession with North Macedonia’s Feran Hasani. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

North Macedonia offered plucky intent at creating an upset and had the ball in the Dutch net early, only for Ivan Trickovski to be ruled off side. Aleksandar Trajkovski then smashed in a powerful shot that had Dutch goalkeeper Marten Stekelenburg beaten but thundered back out off the post.

Instead, the home side took the lead in the 24th minute, albeit amid some controversy, as a tackle from Daley Blind on Goran Pandev set up a counter attack, swiftly executed with Donyell Malen and Depay combining before the latter tucked away the ball.

A VAR check, however, found Blind’s tackle was legal, much to the disgust of the Macedonians.

Straight after half-time, Matthijs de Ligt had a powerful header cleared off the line by Trickovski as the Dutch served notice of a more determined approach. Wijnaldum then doubled the score six minutes into the half as Depay set him up to finish from close range.

 Netherlands' Georginio Wijnaldum nets the third goal past North Macedonia keeper Stole Dimitrievski 

IMAGE: Netherlands’ Georginio Wijnaldum nets the third goal past North Macedonia keeper Stole Dimitrievski. Photograph: Olaf Kraak – Pool/Getty Images

More of their confident passing allowed Wijnaldum another goal in the 58th minute, with Depay once more the provider, and the skipper might have completed a hattrick four minutes thereafter, but he shot wide.

Substitute Wout Weghorst crashed the ball against the bar with his first touch after coming on but North Macedonia managed to pull down the shutters for the last 20 minutes.

The Dutch, who also won in the group against Ukraine and Austria, have now scored at least two goals in their last 10 internationals in a run stretching back to November. Austria finished second in the group by beating Ukraine 1-0 in Bucharest at the same time.

North Macedonia captain Pandev, 37, went off with some 22 minutes left at the end of a 20-year international career and was accorded a guard of honour by substitutes and team officials on the touchline. He had announced his intention to retire ahead of Monday’s match but had little impact on his final outing.

Austria advance to last 16 with win over Ukraine in final group game

Ukraine's Viktor Tsygankov in action with Austria's Stefan Lainer during their Group C match

IMAGE: Ukraine’s Viktor Tsygankov in action with Austria’s Stefan Lainer during their Group C match. Photograph: Mihai Barbu/Pool via Reuters

Austria advanced to the European Championship knockout stages for the first time after they beat Ukraine 1-0 in their final Group C match on Monday to finish second and set up a last 16 clash with Italy.

The Netherlands, who were confirmed as group winners after beating both Ukraine and Austria, defeated bottom side North Macedonia 3-0 in the other fixture to finish with nine points while Austria have six from two wins.

Christoph Baumgartner, who looked shaken after a clash of heads with Illia Zabarnyi minutes earlier, scored in the 21st minute from a corner when he beat the Ukrainian defender to prod home from a teasing David Alaba delivery.

Austria's Marko Arnautovic celebrates after the match  

IMAGE: Austria’s Marko Arnautovic celebrates after the match. Photograph: Marko Djurica/Pool via Reuters

The groggy Austrian midfielder was withdrawn 10 minutes later and his replacement Alessandro Schopf nearly set up a second when he found Marko Arnautovic on a counter-attack but the forward’s side-footed attempt was well off target.

Ukraine, who were sloppy in possession and rarely threatened in the final third, have three points and must wait to see if they advance as one of the four best third-placed teams.

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