Netherlands 2-0 France: Goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay relegate Germany
Result means Germany are relegated to the second tier of the Nations League
Last Updated: 17/11/18 9:03am
The Netherlands kept their UEFA Nations League hopes alive with a 2-0 victory over world champions France in Rotterdam, relegating Germany to League B in the process.
Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum opened the scoring in the 44th minute before Memphis Depay rounded off an impressive Dutch performance, converting from the spot deep into injury time after Moussa Sissoko had brought down Frenkie de Jong.
Victory means Ronald Koeman's side must avoid defeat against Germany on Monday, in a game live on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Mix, to leapfrog France into top spot in Group A1 and book their place in next summer's Nations League finals.
Despite defeat, Didier Deschamps' side could still qualify for the knockout stages should Germany, who have been relegated to the second tier of the Nations League with one game still to play, beat the Dutch in Gelsenkirchen.
Koeman's side, who beat Germany 3-0 last month, made a confident start and Hugo Lloris had to come to France's rescue in the second minute, keeping out Wijnaldum's goal-bound effort after the Liverpool midfielder had been picked out just inside the penalty area by Depay.
Depay, who has been in excellent form for his country in recent months, was again in the thick of it 10 minutes later, but his volley was routinely saved by Lloris.
France were sitting back, hoping to catch Netherlands on the counter-attack and they eventually created a couple of openings, Benjamin Pavard striking over from distance before Blaise Matuidi's effort was cleared off the line by Ryan Babel.
Netherlands: Cillessen (7), Dumfries (8), De Ligt (7), Van Dijk (7), Blind (8), De Roon (7), De Jong (8), Wijnaldum (8), Bergwijn (7), Depay (8), Babel (8).
Subs: Promes (n/a), Vilhena (n/a), Ake (n/a).
France: Lloris (9), Pavard (6), Kimpembe (6), Varane (6), Digne (6), Griezmann (5), Mbappe (5), Kante (6), Matuidi (6), Nzonzi (4), Giroud (5).
Subs: Sissoko (5), Dembele (6), Ndombele (6).
Man of the match: Hugo Lloris
However, it was the hosts who made the breakthrough right at the end of the first half as Steven N'Zonzi's poor header dropped to Babel in the danger area. The former Liverpool forward's shot was brilliantly saved by Lloris but the rebound fell to Wijnaldum, who swept the ball home from close range.
France produced little in response to going behind as Koeman's side continued to dominate proceedings in the second half.
PSV Eindhoven right-back Dumfries was then twice denied by Lloris following Daley Blind's cross as the hosts went in search of a second.
Ronald Koeman makes six changes to the Netherlands side that drew 1-1 with Belgium last month. Virgil van Dijk, Marten de Roon, Ryan Babel, Frenkie de Jong, Georginio Wijnaldum and Steven Bergwijn all come into the starting line-up.
France have made two changes to the side that beat Germany 2-1 last time out. Lucas Digne replaces Lucas Hernandez while Steven N’Zonzi comes in for the injured Paul Pogba.
However, they found Tottenham goalkeeper Lloris in inspired form. He was required to get down low to turn away a direct free-kick from Depay before repelling two further attempts from the Lyon forward minutes later.
Lloris was finally beaten as Netherlands made the points safe in the fifth minute of added time when Depay cheekily chipped in from the spot after France substitute Sissoko clumsily brought down De Jong in the box.
Man of the Match - Hugo Lloris
There were plenty of standout performers for Netherlands including De Jong, Depay and Denzel Dumfries but despite being on the losing side Lloris put in an exceptional display for the world champions.
If France had got anything out of the game they would have had their captain to thank as he made brilliant save after brilliant save on what was an extremely busy night for the Spurs stopper.
He did his best to keep out Babel's shot in the build-up to Wijnaldum's opener, while three brilliant stops to deny Depay in the second-half and a smart double save to keep out Dumfries also come to mind.
In the end it took an audacious shipped penalty to finally beat him as Netherlands wrapped up a superb victory.
Netherlands end their Nations League campaign against Germany at the Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen on Monday. You can watch this crucial match live on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Mix from 7.40pm.
France's next match is an international friendly against Uruguay at the Stade de France on Tuesday. The game is live on Sky Sports Football (red button) from 7.55pm).