Dutch off to Euros in buoyant mood with thrashing of Iceland

football10 June 2024 21:10| © Reuters

The Netherlands completed their Euro 2024 preparations with a 4-0 home victory over Iceland in a friendly at the Feijenoord Stadium on Monday, allowing them to depart for the tournament in neighbouring Germany in buoyant mood.

The Dutch beat Canada 4-0 in Rotterdam on Thursday and matched that scoreline in the second of their warm-up games.

Xavi Simons finally scored for his country to put the Dutch 1-0 up at halftime while Virgil van Dijk got on the scoresheet again before Donyell Malen added the third.

Wout Weghorst netted the fourth on the stroke of fulltime as the Dutch prepare to face Poland on Sunday in Hamburg followed by France and Austria in Group D at the finals.

The 21-year-old Simons, long seen as a potential key player for his country, had won 13 caps before Monday’s game but finally got on the scoresheet, finishing off from close range after Denzel Dumfries headed the ball across the face of goal.

The 23rd minute strike was followed by several more first-half chances for the hosts, with Memphis Depay and Cody Gakpo coming close.

Two minutes into the second half the Dutch did double their lead with Van Dijk reacting quickest in the penalty area and heading home.

It was a second goal in successive games for the captain, who has a total of nine in 68 internationals.

Iceland substitute Stefan Thordarson struck the post with a long-range effort in the 70th but it was the Dutch who got a third with Malen running onto a long pass over the defence and finishing strongly at full sprint.

Memphis Depay had the ball in the net soon after but a fourth goal was ruled out by VAR, which found that Joey Veerman had handled in the build-up.

However, VAR came to Weghorst's aid after he had initially been flagged offside when he scored in stoppage time but the goal was given after a check showed that was not the case.