Euro 2024 | The Dutch team is forced to face the facts by Rangnick’s Austria, 2-3 loss in crazy match

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Euro 2024 |  The Dutch team is forced to face the facts by Rangnick’s Austria, 2-3 loss in crazy match

The Dutch team and Koeman had been warned about it. An Austria that starts brightly and surprises the opponent with tactical ‘Ralf Rangnick tricks’. The ‘Godfather of Gegenpressing’ tried to maneuver himself into the underdog position against the NOS yesterday. “Individually, the Netherlands is almost as well occupied as France. Even if you look at who sometimes doesn’t play in the Dutch team and sits on the bench. Then you have to take your hat off to that.”

Some of the men Rangnick took his hat off to were at the kick-off tonight. The Dutch team had already qualified, and Koeman wanted to take another look at some of the boys. Think of Donyell Malen, the man who normally substitutes for the Dutch national team and then scores. Now he was in it. Together with Geertruida and Veerman. The latter lost his place after the mediocre performance against Poland. It was not a happy evening for actually all the new boys in the base.

Malen shoots the ball behind Verbruggen

After an already strong start by Austria, who consistently managed to find left winger and back Romano Schmid and Alexander Prass, the Alpine country scored after six minutes. Donyell Malen, of all people, scored the seventh own goal this tournament. Once again Prass was outlawed on the left and Malen tried to get the cross out. Instead, his touch disappeared behind Bart Verbruggen. It was a more than deserved lead for Austria. With Koeman you could sometimes see steam coming out of Koeman’s ears. The first danger for the Netherlands came via Reijnders. The AC Milan player who started on ten hit the ball wrong and goalkeeper Pentz made a simple save.

There was a much greater chance when Reijnders himself sent someone away. Namely schlemiel Donyell Malen. Face to face with Pentz, his effort just missed. After 32 minutes, Koeman had seen enough. Joey Veerman suffered an unprecedented amount of ball loss and, very painfully for him, after more than half an hour of play the game was over. Xavi Simons was now put on ten and Reijnders moved back a line next to Jerdy Schouten. This did not really provide more control over the match. Just before half time there was a huge chance for Marko Arnautović to make it 2-0. Bart Verbruggen once again showed that he is an excellent goalkeeper. He tapped the ball away from the former FC Twente player just in time.

The Dutch team comes out of the dressing room well, Gakpo equalizes

Towards the end of the first half there were some more revivals. Schouten was close at first and Memphis seemed to score his first goal of the tournament. His arcing header hit the post. Koeman will undoubtedly have gone on a rampage during half-time. He expected a response from his team and it came immediately. Geertruida became the more detached man in the build-up in half two. After an interception of the Feyenoord libero, he reached Cody Gakpo. The man who always managed to find the net for the Dutch team in Qatar, freed the Netherlands with the 1-1. After a real Gakpo action on the left, he beautifully passed Pentz in the intersection.

Euro 2024 |  The Dutch team is forced to face the facts by Rangnick’s Austria, 2-3 loss in crazy match

Gakpo makes it 1-1 against Austria

Photo: Getty Images

The Dutch team really managed things a lot better, even after a few tactical conversions from Koeman. Austria naturally wants to put pressure on early with the Gegenpressing, and Koeman chose to receive Rangnick’s team earlier. In addition, the Dutch team relied more on own possession of the ball, which certainly created a danger. The ‘shame’ of the first forty-five minutes had already been wiped away. But yes, it couldn’t have been much worse.

But actually out of nowhere, the Orange were again bluffed by the Austrian flanks. Florian Grillitsch’s first really dangerous cross was headed in by Romano Schmid. The Wolfsburg player’s effort seemed to be able to be cleared off the line by Stefan de Vrij. But the central defender worked the ball even harder into the goal. No own goal this time. In any case, the deficit was incomprehensible, because the Dutch team was really recovering in half two. By the way, there was a negative role for goalscorer Cody Gakpo in this goal. He was supposed to cover Schmid, but was far too late to stop the winger.

The Netherlands could start all over again. And also saw one of Austria’s best players, Konrad Laimer from Bayern, come on. Koeman also made two substitutions: Van de Ven and Wijnaldum came on for Aké and Reijnders. The Dutch team started to build up with three defenders.

Wout Weghorst also cannot avoid defeat

And it was also time for ‘battering ram Wout’, one of Weghorst’s many nicknames. His introduction had an immediate effect. In a standard situation he headed perfectly through to Memphis. He scored his redeeming goal this European Championship. Although the VAR had to be involved to definitively approve it. For some unknown reason, referee Kruzliak saw a handball at 2-2. But after examining the images, it turned out that it was simply a flawless goal. 2-2 and the Dutch team suddenly went all out for the win again.

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Memphis makes the 2-2 against Austria, VAR corrected

Photo: Getty Images

But once again a twist in this rollercoaster of a match. Once again the Austrians made good use of the flanks, and this time it was Dortmund’s Marcel Sabitzer who fired the ball into the short corner behind Verbruggen. Incomprehensible again. Because the Dutch had things so well organized. In the Olympiastadion, Austria also showed the lessons of effectiveness.

The new final offensive almost became successful again through ‘savior Wout’. His header after a Memphis cross sailed just over. Six minutes were added, and some more due to an Austrian injury, but Rangnick’s team took the victory. There is work to be done. A lot of work.

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