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Netherlands v Belgium Live Commentary, 26/9/22

FT
1 - 0
NED
BEL
V. van Dijk (73)
Johan Cruijff Arena

Commentary

That's all from us, we hope you enjoyed the game. Until next time, goodbye!
Netherlands finish as the clear winners of Group 4A, six points ahead of Belgium, and are the first side through to the UEFA Nations League finals. That's the Oranje's last game before heading to Qatar, and with a fit Memphis Depay and Frenkie De Jong added into this team, could well prove to be a dark horse in contention of winning the World Cup. Belgium's last game before the groups is a friendly against Egypt, and despite their loss here, also have players set to return, as the Red Devils' "golden generation' aims to live up to their nickname.
Bergwijn was unable to get onto the scoresheet in this match, but oh did he go close on so many occasions! Finishing the game with 0.65 expected goals, more than double Van Dijk's 0.23, the Ajax forward was everywhere in attack, having two shots on target from four attempts and six touches in the Belgium box. He completed 19 passes in the final third, as well as 10 duels, winning two free-kicks in the process. His link-up play with Gakpo could be something to behold if the pair can find even more rhythm come the World Cup.
That's the end of the game, with the home side sneaking into the Nations League finals with a 1-0 win courtesy of Van Dijk's late header!!! It wasn't the most convincing showing from either side until the latter stages, but with their passage into the last four of this tournament secure, the Oranje's attention will now fully turn to the World Cup. Belgium's will too, but both sets of coaching staff will know they need to see more quality and composure from their players, if either side is to really shake things up in Qatar.
90' + 5' FULL-TIME: NETHERLANDS 1-0 BELGIUM.
90' + 5' OFF THE BAR!!!! Oh what an equaliser that would've been!!! Trossard escapes Dumfries and crosses from the left, and it's Lukebakio in the box, who flies into the air and strikes the ball with an immense bicycle kick, and the ball rattles off the frame of the goal before bouncing away, and the final whistle sounds!!!
90' + 3' A high boot from Witsel catches Gravenberch in the chest, evoking memories of Nigel De Jong against Spain, but despite the challenge being nowhere near as forceful as that from the 2010 World Cup Final, it's still a free-kick against Belgium.
90' + 2' Dumfries fires a cross into the six-yard box, where Bergwijn attempts an audacious back-heeled shot, but the ball hits a sliding Alderweireld and skews away!
R. Gravenberch
D. Klaassen
Netherlands
90' + 2' Off comes Klaassen as the Dutch make what could be their final change, and Ryan Gravenberch enters the fray late on.
90' + 1' We're into four minutes of injury time as the home side close in on a second successive win over their closest rivals!
90' Gakpo escapes the grasp of Alderweireld and crosses from the byline, but Courtois dives to tip the low ball away from Bergwijn and Belgium clear!
90' SAVED!!! Blind's ball into the box is chested on by Bergwijn, whose close-range effort is brilliantly stopped by Courtois!
89' Klaassen was the Oranje’s sole scorer in the last meeting between these two sides on Dutch soil, converting his 38th-minute penalty past Simon Mignolet in November 2016.
87' SAVED!!! Gakpo beats three Belgium players with superb close control down the right, and drives forward before passing through to Klaassen. He's one-on-one with Courtois, but the goalkeeper races out to parry the shot, and Belgium survive once more!
86' De Bruyne can find no way through on the byline, but does find Lukebakio, however the substitute slips as he attempts to cross into the six-yard box, and the ball rolls out of play.
K. Taylor
Yellow Card
Netherlands
84' Taylor races in late on Tielemans and catches him, right under the referee's nose. The Oranje substitute can have no complaints when a yellow card is shown in his direction.
83' A Belgium corner results in both sets of players playing head-tennis in the box, before Carrasco eventually hooks a cross towards De Bruyne at the back post. However, his headed pass back across goal is caught by Pasveer, and the Dutch have possession back.
D. Lukébakio
T. Castagne
Belgium
82' Castagne comes off next for the visitors, and Dodi Lukebakio is introduced to replace him.
Y. Carrasco
Yellow Card
Belgium
82' After a lengthy tussle with Dumfries, Carrasco appears to have been caught in the face and goes down. No free-kick comes of the situation, and the Belgium substitute is booked after aggressively voicing his opinion about the referee's decision.
80' Trossard skilfully beats De Vrij before squaring from the byline, but Malacia gets in the way of the cross and hooks it clear!
78' WIDE!!! Alderweireld finds Castagne on the fly with a good ball from deep, and the wing-back fires a shot across the face of goal, but can only watch as the ball rolls wide of the far post!
D. Dumfries
Yellow Card
Netherlands
77' Dumfries takes a fair while, to say the least, to take a throw-in on halfway, and the referee shows his dissatisfaction with the time-wasting by brandishing a yellow card.
76' WIDE!!!! Back come the Oranje, as Dumfries finds Gakpo in the box. He squares for Bergwijn, whose first-time shot is lashed into the side netting!
75' Carrasco cuts inside from the left and shoots from the edge of the box, but his off-balance shot can only bend wide of the far post!
Y. Tielemans
A. Onana
Belgium
75' Onana's been superb on his first start for the Red Devils, but comes off now for fellow Premier League midfielder Youri Tielemans.
C. Gakpo
Assist
Netherlands
73' Gakpo's delivery was a superb one, and who else's head would he have wanted the ball to land on, than his captain's?
V. van Dijk
Goal
Netherlands
73' GOOOOAAAALLLL!!!! 1-0, There it is!!! We thought it might never come, but Van Dijk rises to nod Gakpo's corner beyond Courtois and into the net!! Courtois will claim Klaassen impeded him, but the referee isn't convinced and the home side run off celebrating!!! That could well be the strike that seals their place in the Nations League finals!
72' SAVED!!! The Dutch break at speed and it comes out to Bergwijn on the left. He takes on Debast and cuts inside, before shooting and forcing a save from Courtois at his near post!
71' Carrasco feigns shooting before finding Trossard, but he's crowded out by Dumfries and the eventual pass to Onana goes astray!
69' Belgium are certainly out to beat Pasveer in the Dutch goal – they have scored in each of their last 49 internationals across all competitions – can they bring up the half-century late in this game?
67' SAVED!!! A good ball into the box from deep by De Bruyne finds Onana, who pops up at the back post and shoots on goal, but it's tipped away thanks to a fantastic reflex save by Pasveer!
S. de Vrij
J. Timber
Netherlands
66' Timber is the next off for the Dutch, and is replaced in the back-three by Stefan de Vrij.
65' Onana turns Taylor and appears to have beaten him as he runs down the right, but the Netherlands substitute sticks out a leg and fouls him, granting the visitors a free-kick.
L. Trossard
E. Hazard
Belgium
64' After being caught late by De Roon, Hazard comes off for the visitors, and is replaced by Brighton's Leandro Trossard.
63' What a tackle!!! Gakpo sends Bergwijn racing through the middle, and he knocks the ball beyond the chasing Onana. Or so he thinks, as the midfielder gets back and knocks the ball away with a fantastic sliding challenge on the edge of the box!
61' Belgium break through Hazard, who spreads the ball wide to De Bruyne. The Belgium number 10 gets the ball back inside the box and finds Carrasco, whose right-footed shot is blocked by Timber!
60' BLOCKED!!! De Ketelaere's deflected pass finds De Bruyne, who shoots from the edge of the box, but his left-footed effort is blocked by Van Dijk!
59' The two number 18's clash as Taylor and Onana fly into a challenge for the loose ball, but the Belgium man is nowhere near it and concedes the foul.
57' The second-half's pace has been sluggish to say the least, with neither side looking capable of breaking the other down, or being willing to try anything too daring in order to do so!
55' Dumfries attempts to test the Belgian defence as he hurls a long throw into the box, but Courtois climbs above the crowd and claims the ball cleanly.
53' Gakpo whips in a corner, but Timber's attempt at a glancing front-post header sees the ball hit his shoulder and bounce behind!
52' OVER!!! Van Dijk's long ball from the back finds Taylor on the run, and the substitute takes a touch before smashing a half-volley just over the bar!
50' WIDE!!! Dumfries is found this time and races down the right. From the byline, he hits a low cross that bounces across the face of goal, but can't quite creep into the corner!
48' With Courtois finally back to his feet, play continues, and Belgium look to break forward in the hope of rescuing this game!
46' CHANCE!!! Straight from the kick-off, a long ball is fired towards a surging Dumfries. Courtois comes out of his box and produces a flying header to send the ball away, but the Netherlands full-back can't stop in time and clatters into the goalkeeper!
46' The hosts kick off, and play resumes here in Amsterdam!
C. De Ketelaere
M. Batshuayi
Belgium
46' Batshuayi also comes off, with Milan forward Charles De Ketelaere taking his place in the attack.
Y. Carrasco
T. Meunier
Belgium
46' Belgium stand-in coach Thierry Henry brings Meunier off, with Yannick Carrasco taking his place at wing-back.
T. Malacia
N. Aké
Netherlands
46' Ake is also withdrawn, with his cross-Manchester rival Tyrell Malacia entering the defence.
K. Taylor
V. Janssen
Netherlands
46' Both sides make half-time changes, with Louis Van Gaal bringing Janssen off for Kenneth Taylor for the home side.
The teams head back out onto the pitch, and as things stand, the Dutch are heading into the Nations League finals at Belgium's expense!
In only his second cap, and his first start for Belgium, Onana has been buzzing around in the middle and looking very lively. He's had a shot on target, as well as completing one key pass from 13 in the Dutch half. Furthermore, the Everton midfielder has made two interceptions, winning possession once in the final third and creating a scoring chance as a result.
The half-time whistle goes to signal the end of a goalless half, and Belgium now have just 45 minutes to swing this game, and the group, into their favour! The visitors have had the best of the few chances we've seen, but are yet to really challenge Pasveer in the Dutch goal. The Oranje have tested Courtois even less, but have looked strong without the ball, despite the chopping and changing in their midfield with the drifting movement, and later withdrawal, of Berghuis.
45' + 2' HALF-TIME: NETHERLANDS 0-0 BELGIUM.
45' + 2' SAVED!!! Castagne flicks on a cross-field pass to Vertonghen of all people in the box, and his left-footed shot on the half-volley is parried away by Pasveer!
45' + 1' We're into two minutes of added time to close out the first half.
45' BLOCKED!!! Bergwijn stands up Vertonghen before finding Gakpo in support, but his close-range effort is blocked by Witsel and the visitors can counter!
44' The corner is dealt with initially, but Onana's poor touch sees De Roon smash the ball towards Janssen. He shoots from a tight angle on the left, but skews his effort well wide and the chance comes to nothing.
44' Gakpo lobs a pass into the box, where Dumfries shows great strength to hold off Castagne, before winning a corner via a deflection.
43' Gakpo looks to find Bergwijn on the edge of the box, but Debast is all over him and clips him before taking him down. The winger is slow to get to his feet, but does so eventually and play continues.
41' Gakpo's introduction has seen the Dutch revert to their initial formation, with Klaassen back alongside De Roon in the midfield two and the substitute joining the front three.
39' It’s a big night for the Dutch goalkeeper Pasveer, who’s making his home Oranje debut in the stadium where he plies his trade for Ajax. The 38-year-old is enjoying a remarkable tail end to his career; He left Vitesse on a free transfer at the end of the 2020-21 season and joined Ajax. Originally third-choice, he’s now the undisputed number one custodian at the club.
37' SAVED!!! Onana dispossesses Klaassen in midfield before trying his luck from distance, but his left-footed shot from 35 yards is stopped and held by Pasveer!
36' The Netherlands' 2-0 victory in Poland on Matchday five extended their unbeaten run to 14 matches in all competitions, and was their ninth victory in 13 outings.
34' WIDE!!! Dumfries accidentally heads Alderweireld's long cross-field pass into the path of Castagne, who should do better from the edge of the box as he fires wide under little pressure!
32' From a Belgium free-kick, De Bruyne chips the ball over the defence, and Witsel almost gets a meaningful touch on the ball, but Pasveer collects it!
C. Gakpo
S. Berghuis
Netherlands
31' Berghuis appears to have picked up a knock and comes off injured. He's replaced by Cody Gakpo, who scored the opener in the Oranje's 2-0 win over Poland. Warning signs for Belgium? We'll have to wait and see.
29' OVER!!! Good play from Janssen, who holds off Debast before beating him to Ake's throughball. He crosses from the byline, and Dumfries arrives in the box, but can only fire an off-balance shot wide of the target!
28' Belgium break and Castagne finds Batshuayi centrally, who in turn feeds Hazard. He crosses to the back post, but Pasveer catches the aerial ball confidently and the hosts have it back.
27' De Bruyne comes back into defence and appears to have won possession, but Klaassen intercepts his pass to Debast and cuts the ball back to Janssen. Onana gets back though, and cuts the cross out before clearing.
25' Berghuis' long floated pass has Bergwijn sprinting after it, but Courtois is out of his goal to calmly take possession and spray the ball wide to Alderweireld.
24' Possession of the ball is gridlocked at 50 per cent each at the moment, showing how evenly matched this contest has been so far.
22' Netherlands' 4-1 win in Brussels earlier in the campaign was their first victory in nine meetings in all competitions against their neighbours Belgium.
20' Berghuis whips a deep free-kick into the Belgium box, but the ever-composed Courtois plucks the ball out of the sky with minimal difficulty.
18' Castagne breaks into space on the left and cuts the ball back to De Bruyne. He looks to lay it off to Hazard with his first touch, but the ball is smashed away by Timber before Hazard can latch onto it!
17' WIDE!!! Janssen brings down a loose ball, turns and drives towards goal. He lets fly from 20 yards, sending a good effort just wide of the far post!!
16' Berghuis' throughball bypasses Vertonghen and finds Klaassen in the box, but a heavy touch allows Vertonghen to nip in and hoof the ball away for a corner!
14' SAVED!!!! Berghuis has his pocket picked by Batshuayi in midfield, and De Bruyne finds the striker inside the box. He shoots early with his left foot, and fires a low shot that stings the fingertips of Pasveer before he gathers!
12' It has been hard to split these sides of late, with six of the last nine encounters finishing in a draw – including the last meeting between the pair on Dutch soil here in November 2016, when Yannick Carrasco's late equaliser cancelled out Klaassen's first-half spot kick.
10' Meunier spots the run of Batshuayi down the right, but the Fenerbahce striker is flagged for offside before he can receive the ball.
8' A change to the Netherlands' formation has seen Berghuis drop deeper into the midfield two, pushing Klaassen forward to play as a number 10, behind the front two of Bergwijn and Janssen.
T. Castagne
Yellow Card
Belgium
6' Dumfries looks to get around Castagne and run down the right for the hosts, but the Leicester wing-back drags him to ground and is penalised, picking up the game's first yellow card.
4' OVER!!! Onana is found running down the right channel and cuts inside Blind. He squares it to Hazard, but the Belgium forward blazes his first-time shot over the bar!
3' Ake surges into space and is encouraged to shoot by the crowd, but looks to find Berghuis in the box instead. However, his throughball is inaccurate and rolls straight out of play!
2' The Oranje are hoping to record a first home win against Belgium since September 1997, when Patrick Kluivert was among the scorers for Guus Hiddink's side in a 3-1 victory in Rotterdam, in a qualifier ahead of the 1998 World Cup.
1' Batshuayi kicks off for Belgium, and we're underway at the Johan Cruyff Arena!
The two sets of players are out on the pitch, and following the national anthems, we'll be ready for kick-off!
First-half goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Michy Batshuayi proved too much for Wales in Belgium’s last game, as they ran out 2-1 winners. The pair are joined in the Red Devils’ front three by another ex-Chelsea forward, in Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard.
Cody Gakpo’s early opener sent the Dutch on their way to a 2-0 win over Poland, but the PSV winger is on the bench for this game. Steven Bergwijn doubled the lead in the second half, and he starts on the left of a front three that also includes Steven Berghuis and Vincent Janssen.
BELGIUM SUBS: Simon Mignolet, Koen Casteels, Arthur Theate, Youri Tielemans, Lois Openda, Yannick Carrasco, Charles De Ketelaere, Thorgan Hazard, Leandro Trossard, Dodi Lukebakio, Hans Vanaken, Alexis Saelemaekers.
BELGIUM (3-4-2-1): Thibaut Courtois; Zeno Debast, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen; Thomas Meunier, Amadou Onana, Axel Witsel, Timothy Castagne; Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard; Michy Batshuayi.
NETHERLANDS SUBS: Jasper Cillessen, Andries Noppert, Mark Flekken, Matthijs De Ligt, Stefan De Vrij, Cody Gakpo, Brian Brobbey, Devyne Rensch, Tyrell Malacia, Kenneth Taylor, Wout Weghorst, Ryan Gravenberch.
NETHERLANDS (3-4-2-1): Remko Pasveer; Jurrien Timber, Virgil Van Dijk, Nathan Ake; Denzel Dumfries, Davy Klaassen, Marten De Roon, Daley Blind; Steven Berghuis, Steven Bergwijn; Vincent Janssen.
Belgium sit second, three points and three goals adrift of the Netherlands, and thus need a three-goal victory in order to leapfrog their neighbours. Their matchday one meeting in Brussels ended in a 4-1 victory for the Dutch, with the Red Devils hoping to return the favour here in Amsterdam.
It’s a winner-takes-all clash in this Low Countries derby, with the Oranje, who top the group with a three-point cushion, needing only to avoid a heavy defeat in order to progress to the Nations League finals.
Hello, and welcome to live coverage of this fixture in the UEFA Nations League, as the Netherlands take on Belgium in Group 4.