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Yalla Shoot :Netherlands 2-3 Italy: European champions win Nations League play-off

Ronald Koeman
Ronald Koeman returned to the role of Netherlands manager on 1 January following the retirement of Louis van Gaal

Italy beat Netherlands in the Uefa Nations League play-off to pile pressure on Dutch boss Ronald Koeman.

Federico Dimarco and Davide Frattesi scored in the opening 20 minutes and, though Steven Bergwijn pulled a goal back, Federico Chiesa sealed the win.

Georginio Wijnaldum made it 2-3 late on, but the defeat means Koeman has lost three of the first four games of his second spell in charge.

Croatia face Spain in the Nations League final later on Sunday.

Italy took the lead in Enschede after just six minutes, left-back Dimarco starting the move with a deep cross before making a run into the area, being found by Giacomo Raspadori’s backheel and firing a crisp shot into the top corner past Justin Bijlow.

On 20 minutes, Frattesi slotted home after a Wilfried Gnonto shot deflected into his path. It was followed by a lengthy VAR check for offside and handball against Frattesi, but the goal stood.

Netherlands, who were booed by an unimpressed home crowd, wasted their best chance late in the first half when Cody Gakpo chipped the ball wide from around 12 yards.

They pulled the score back to 2-1 midway through the second half, Bergwijn smartly taking down a deep cross before firing left-footed past Gianluigi Donnarumma, however Chiesa restored Italy’s two-goal lead with a cool finish across Bijlow following a quick counter-attack.

Wijnaldum fired into the roof of the net to ensure a grandstand finish with nine minutes of added time, however European champions Italy managed to hold on for third place.

Koeman returned as Netherlands manager after the 2022 World Cup but has endured a stuttering start to his second spell. This result follows a 4-0 Euro 2024 qualifying defeat by France and the 4-2 extra-time loss to Croatia in the Nations League semi-final on Wednesday.



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Bijlow
  • 22Dumfries
  • 12GeertruidaSubstituted forWijnaldumat 45′minutes
  • 4van Dijk
  • 5Aké
  • 6WiefferSubstituted forVeermanat 76′minutes
  • 21F de Jong
  • 18MalenSubstituted forBergwijnat 45′minutes
  • 11SimonsSubstituted forKoopmeinersat 63′minutes
  • 10LangSubstituted forWeghorstat 45′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 9Gakpo


  • 2Timber
  • 3Blind
  • 7Bergwijn
  • 8Wijnaldum
  • 13Flekken
  • 14Botman
  • 15de Roon
  • 16Malacia
  • 17Veerman
  • 19Weghorst
  • 20Koopmeiners
  • 23Noppert


Formation 4-3-3

  • 1G Donnarumma
  • 13Tolói
  • 15AcerbiBooked at 90mins
  • 23Buongiorno
  • 3DimarcoBooked at 34minsSubstituted forSpinazzolaat 74′minutes
  • 7Frattesi
  • 16Cristante
  • 6VerrattiSubstituted forBarellaat 85′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 20GnontoSubstituted forZanioloat 64′minutes
  • 9ReteguiSubstituted forPellegriniat 85′minutes
  • 22RaspadoriSubstituted forChiesaat 63′minutes


  • 2Di Lorenzo
  • 4Spinazzola
  • 5Darmian
  • 8Jorginho
  • 10Pellegrini
  • 11Zaniolo
  • 12Meret
  • 14Chiesa
  • 17Immobile
  • 18Barella
  • 19Bonucci
  • 21Vicario

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