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North Macedonia vs Netherlands. European Championships Group C.

Amsterdam ArenAAttendance15,227.

North Macedonia 0

    Netherlands 3

    • Memphis Depay (24th minute)
    • G Wijnaldum (51st minute, 58th minute)

    North Macedonia 0-3 Netherlands: Georginio Wijnaldum double sees Dutch top Group C with 100 per cent record

    Report as Georginio Wijnaldum's double and another from Memphis Depay send Netherlands into last 16 having won all three of their Group C games; North Macedonia see goals from Ivan Trickovski and Darko Churlinov ruled out for offside in either half

    Georginio Wijnaldum scored Holland's second and third goals
    Image: Georginio Wijnaldum scored Netherlands' second and third goals, both from Memphis Depay assists

    Georginio Wijnaldum moved above Marco van Basten in Netherlands' all-time scoring charts as his double helped them complete a 100 per cent group C record with a 3-0 win over North Macedonia.

    North Macedonia manager Igor Angelovski had spoken of "putting on a show" in his side's last game in the tournament and they very nearly did early on, with Ivan Trickovski only denied the opener by a late offside flag after slotting home Goran Pandev's through ball.

    Instead Netherlands continued their impressive run of scoring form themselves, with Memphis Depay slotting home on the break from Donyell Malen's tee-up after Pandev had been left on the floor by what appeared a foul from Daley Blind.

    Wijnaldum moved level with Van Basten six minutes into the second half as Depay found the Netherlands captain with a nice square ball after being played through by Ryan Gravenberch.

    Player ratings

    North Macedonia: Dimitrievski (7), Ristovski (5), Velkovski (6), Musliu (5), Alioski (5), Bardhi (6), Ademi (6), Trickovski (7), Elmas (6), Trajkovsi (6), Pandev (7).

    Subs: Churlinov (6), Hasani (6), Kostadinov (5), Stojanovski, (6), Nikolov (6).

    Netherlands: Stekelenburg (5), Dumfries (6), De Vrij (5), De Ligt (6), Blind (5), Van Aanholt (6), F De Jong (7), Wijnaldum (8), Gravenberch (7), Depay (8), Malen (7).

    Subs: Berghuis (7), Timber (6), Weghorst (6), Promes (7), Gakpo (6).

    Man of the match: Memphis Depay.

    And the now-PSG midfielder, who criticised Frank de Boer's 3-5-2 tactics ahead of the game, may have had reasons to backtrack after netting his second of the day to fire home the rebound from another Depay effort, as Netherlands advanced to the last 16 with a flourish.

    The retiring Pandev was given a guard of honour by his team-mates as he headed to the bench with 68 minutes gone, shortly before Darko Churlinov looked to have beaten Maarten Stekelenburg again, only to be ruled out by another offside flag to deny North Macedonia one final moment to cheer before they departed the competition.

    Entertainers Netherlands start to purr in Group C finale

    The first dead rubber of the tournament, with Netherlands already confirmed group winners and North Macedonia heading home, would likely become either an open affair or fizzle out into nothingness - and the opening exchanges showed exactly how things would pan out in Amsterdam.

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    Just 10 minutes into the final match of their debut tournament North Macedonia were denied another moment of history when Trickovski was slipped in behind by Pandev's lovely through ball and beat Stekelenburg confidently, before a late offside flag, confirmed by a tight VAR call, cut his celebrations short.

    Memphis Depay have Holland the lead over North Macedonia
    Image: Depay gave the Dutch the lead over North Macedonia with his second goal of the tournament

    The next big chance fell to the minnows and provided another moment agonisingly close to supplying a shock opener as another Pandev pass found Aleksandar Trajkovski, who rattled the base of the post from 20 yards with Stekelenburg again beaten.

    But against teams as good as the 2014 World Cup finalists, there were only so many chances that could be missed. Netherlands were looking to extend their run of scoring at least two goals in each of their last nine games, and netted a first moments after that let-off when Malen's burst over the halfway line on the counter then found Depay, who scored his second of the tournament.

    Denzel Dumfries, a surprise early front-runner in the Golden Boot standings, then came close to doubling the advantage from another Malen assist but was denied by some smart goalkeeping from Stole Dimitrievski.

    The second would come six minutes after the break, as Gravenbach's nice ball through to Depay was turned into the six-yard box to give Wijnaldum a simple finish.

    He would move himself level at the top of the Golden Boot rankings with a second seven minutes later, with Malen's latest smart pass finding Depay on the left, and his shot tipped into the captain's path from a position in which he could barely miss.

    With 18 minutes remaining Churlinov showed more fine composure to find the back of the net from outside the box before the offside flag again proved the North Macedonians' enemy. They continued in vain, with Darko Velkovski heading wide in the final stages, before bowing out without a goal to show for their efforts - but a performance to remember in their debut appearance at a tournament finals.

    Man of the match - Memphis Depay

    Depay took a bit of time to warm up in this tournament, perhaps with his club future weighing over him, but now he has got his Barcelona move sorted, he looks at full throttle.

    Depay was a livewire behind the North Macedonia defence even before his opener and he assisted on both of Wijnaldum's double too. You would not be surprised to see him continue his partnership with Donyell Malen in the knockout stages either, with the pair's quick thinking and movement a real asset while both were on the pitch.

    Opta facts

    • Netherlands have won all three of their group stage games at the European Championship for the third time (also 2000 and 2008), more than any other side in the competition.
    • North Macedonia are just the fourth team to lose 100% of their matches at their first appearance in the European Championships, after Turkey in 1996 (3/3), Denmark in 1964 (2/2) and France in 1960 (2/2).
    • Netherlands have scored at least twice in their last 10 matches in all competitions, their longest such run in their history.
    • Netherlands have now scored 65 goals in total at the European Championship finals, overtaking France in second place and behind only Germany (76) in the competition's history.
    • Memphis Depay's opener was his 50th goal involvement in 67 appearances for Netherlands (28 goals, 22 assists). Indeed, he's been involved in 13 goals in his last 10 games for the national side in all competitions (9 goals, 4 assists).
    • Memphis Depay is just the second Netherlands to score and assist a goal in a match at both the European Championship (2020) and the World Cup (2014), after Wesley Sneijder (EURO 2008 and 2010 World Cup).
    • In his 78th appearance for the national side, Georginio Wijnaldum scored his 24th and 25th goals for Netherlands. 15 of these strikes have been in his 25 games since the start of 2019, with no player scoring more for the Dutch during this time.
    • Donyell Malen has provided an assist in his last two appearances for Netherlands, more than he had in his first 10 games for the national side (1).

    What's next?

    The Netherlands will play one of the third-placed teams from groups D, E or F in Budapest on June 27; kick-off at 5pm. That looks most likely to be one of France, Germany or Portugal from the latter group.

    North Macedonia's Euro 2020 dream is over, though, and their next game comes at home to Armenia in a World Cup 2022 qualifier on September 2; kick-off at 7.45pm.

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