Netherlands 4-0 Belarus: Memphis Depay stars, Virgil van Dijk scores
Liverpool pair Georginio Wijlnaldum and Virgil van Dijk also get on the scoresheet
Last Updated: 21/03/19 10:26pm
Memphis Depay scored two goals and set up two more as the revived Netherlands eased to a 4-0 victory over Belarus in their opening European Qualifier on Thursday in Rotterdam.
Liverpool pair Georginio Wijnaldum and Virgil van Dijk were also on target in the Group C fixture as the home side were rarely threatened and might have won by a greater margin, providing a welcome present for manager Ronald Koeman on his 56th birthday.
Depay, enduring a lean spell at club level with Lyon, was at the heart of the Dutch attacking effort, taking his tally of goals to 10 in his last 14 internationals and cementing his place as the key attacker in Koeman's team.
The 25-year-old scored inside 50 seconds as Igor Shitov's risky back-pass was pounced on Depay. His delicately angled shot trickled into the net off the far post.
The Dutch doubled their advantage in the 21st minute when Depay turned provider, flicking the ball into the path of Wijnaldum, who converted the simplest of finishes from seven yards.
The hosts added to their tally on 55 minutes when Mikhail Sivakov clattered into Wijnaldum in the box for a clear penalty confidently converted by Depay.
The Dutch played the final 20 minutes with 10 men after replacement right back Kenny Tete, their third substitute, pulled up with a hamstring injury after his first sprint barely 20 seconds after coming on.
But the home side still managed a fourth in the final four minutes as Van Dijk finished after Depay crossed the ball after having his initial shot blocked.
Koeman can expect a much tougher assignment on Sunday when they host Germany in their next qualifier.