Euro 2020: Depay, Dumfries score as Netherlands qualify for last 16 after beating Austria

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This time, the Netherlands never looked like throwing away their two-goal lead. Memphis Depay and Denzel Dumfries scored a goal in each half as the Dutch comfortably beat Austria 2-0 Thursday to advance to the round of 16 at the European Championship.

Depay sent a penalty kick low into the corner in the 11th minute for his 27th goal in 66 international matches. Dumfries then scored his second goal of the tournament — following his late winner against Ukraine — in the 67th after an unselfish pass from PSV Eindhoven teammate Donyell Malen.

The Netherlands is playing at a major international soccer tournament for the first time in seven years and qualified for the knockout stage with a game to spare.

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Austria, playing without banned forward Marko Arnautović at the Johan Cruyff Arena, rarely threatened to equalize against a well-ordered Dutch defense led by Matthijs De Ligt on his return from a groin injury.

The closest Austria came was a long-range shot by David Alaba in the 82nd minute. The team only managed one shot on target in the entire game.

Arnautović was handed a one-match ban by UEFA for insulting a North Macedonian player in the teams’ Euro 2020 opener. The incident soured Austria’s first victory at a major tournament in 31 years and its first ever at the European Championship.

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In the group’s other match Thursday, Ukraine beat North Macedonia 2-1 in Bucharest. The Dutch win eliminated North Macedonia.

Dumfries’ goal — he also was fouled for the penalty — again vindicated Netherlands coach Frank de Boer’s decision to ditch the traditional Dutch system of four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards in favor of a three defenders, five midfielders and two forwards.

Dumfries is a wing back who can sprint up the right flank and cause problems in the opponent’s penalty area.

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The Dutch also led 2-0 in their opening match on Sunday, but Ukraine scored a pair of goals level the score. Dumfries scored the winner in the 85th minute on that day.

The Netherlands will play its final Group C match against North Macedonia on Monday, also in Amsterdam. Austria will take on Ukraine in Bucharest.

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