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EURO 2020: Netherlands delight as victory over Austria seals top spot in Group C

FOOTBALL By Reuters | June 18th 2021
Football - Euro 2020 - Group C - Netherlands v Austria - Johan Cruijff ArenA, Amsterdam, Netherlands - June 17, 2021 Netherlands' Marten de Roon, Luuk de Jong and Stefan de Vrij celebrate after the match. [REUTERS/Dean Mouhtaropoulos]

An early Memphis Depay penalty and a Denzel Dumfries goal gave the Netherlands a convincing 2-0 victory over Austria on Thursday and a place in the Euro 2020 last 16 as Group C winners.

The Dutch cannot be overtaken at the head of the standings after a second win while Austria’s hopes rest on the result of their last match against Ukraine.

The 11th-minute spot-kick provided an early platform for the home side and flying full back Dumfries proved a popular scorer at the Johan Cruyff Arena as he doubled the tally in the 67th minute with his second goal in as many matches.

Dumfries had netted the dramatic late winner as the Dutch edged Ukraine 3-2 on Sunday but there was less of a frenetic feel this time as they coasted through the match.

They were awarded the penalty after Dumfries was caught on the foot by Austrian captain David Alba on the corner of the penalty area. But it was only given after referee Orel Grinfeeld consulted the pitchside VAR monitor, with Depay dispatching spot-kick powerfully underneath the diving Daniel Bachman.

Depay had two more first-half chances to add to his tally, hitting the side netting with snap effort after another Alaba mistake and conjuring up a horror miss five minutes before the break.

Austria players look dejected after the match. [REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw]

Attack partner Wout Weghorst played a square ball in for the unmarked Depay at the back post, but he rushed the effort and skied his side-footed effort wide.

The second goal came after Donyell Malen beat the offside trap and unselfishly played in the charging Dumfries, whose finish was enthusiastically celebrated by his teammates and the 16,000-strong crowd.

The visitors' first effort on goal came as late as the 84th minute but substitute Karim Onisiwo headed straight at home goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg. Without the suspended Marko Arnautovic, Austria lacked a cutting edge in attack that they will need against Ukraine in Bucharest on Monday.

The Dutch host North Macedonia at the same time and know already they will go to Bucharest on June 27 to face one of the third-placed finishers in the round of 16. 

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