Georginio Wijnaldum scored his first international hat-trick and debutants Calvin Stengs and Myron Boadu impressed in a big Dutch win.
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Georginio Wijnaldum’s hat-trick ensured the Oranje signed off qualification with a resounding win even though Germany’s victory denied them top spot.
The Liverpool midfielder headed in a Quincy Promes cross early on before Nathan Aké also rose highest to turn in Memphis Depay’s delivery inside 20 minutes.
The Dutch gave debuts to AZ forwards Calvin Stengs and Myron Boadu and the former set up their third and fourth, providing Wijnaldum with his ninth and tenth goals in his last 12 international appearances.
Boadu capped his impressive cameo with the final goal from Kevin Strootman’s delicious pass over the top.
A confident, accomplished performance by a Dutch team which, at the end, consisted of a great many players with relatively little international experience. Ronald Koeman must be extremely pleased that his side maintained its style of play and desire to win despite fielding so many new faces. The banner before the match got it right: a new wave of Dutch football is coming!
State of play
- The Netherlands have qualified as Group C runners-up.
- Estonia can no longer qualify via the European Qualifiers group stage.
Georginio Wijnaldum, Netherlands midfielder: “I just did my job. I work hard and try to make it as comfortable as possible for my team. I used my quality and I’m happy to score three goals and happy that other players scored and gave assists. Stengs had two assists, Boadu one goal, so I think they did quite well. We hope they keep growing.
“We’re all satisfied. It was strange not seeing Holland at a big tournament and for us as players for not qualifying. They were tough years but we’ve done well since the new coach came. We just have to make sure we’re ready to play against the best teams in Europe and grow during the tournament.”
Calvin Stengs, Netherlands forward: “It was more tough than at AZ of course. The intensity is high, the game is faster but I’m happy to help the team with two assists. We took a picture in the dressing room – Gini asked us to take a picture with him. We’re all very happy.”
Ronald Koeman, Netherlands coach: “It was a great evening. We had a good result, the second half was better than the first half. We had to make some changes and give opportunities for new players, young players, to try to make the best squad for the summer. We have big talents and good young players and we have to give them the opportunity to play. Our country always produces good young players.
“They did well. I didn’t see nerves from the two young boys. For them it’s an evening to make debuts and they will remember it for their whole lives. They need to perform and train with the boys as the level is really high. They have a great future.
“Gini is a big star and a great boy for the team. This is his best position and he will score, fight and work.”
- The previous time the Netherlands failed to qualify for multiple major tournaments in a row (1982–86), they went on to win the next tournament they reached (EURO ’88).
- Twenty-eight of the Oranje's last 38 goals have been scored in or after the 55th minute.
- Wijnaldum has scored ten goals in 17 appearances for Netherlands under Koeman, two more than in 45 matches before the coach’s arrival.
- Wijnaldum scored his first competitive hat-trick for club or country in four years and 32 days, when he scored four in a Premier League game for Newcastle against Norwich in October 2015.
- Wijnaldum is the first midfielder to score a hat-trick for the Oranje since Johan Neeskens against Norway on 1 November 1972.
- Boadu (18 years 309 days) is the youngest player to score for the Netherlands since Ryan Babel (18 years 97 days) in a 2-0 win in Romania on 26 March 2005.
- Estonia have lost seven of their last eight games.
- Estonia have only scored three goals in their last 11 games.
Netherlands: Cillessen; Promes, Aké, De Ligt, Van Aanholt; Wijnaldum, Pröpper, F de Jong (Strootman 75); Stengs, L de Jong (Weghorst 63), Depay (Boadu 46)
Estonia: Lepmets; Kallaste, Tamm, Mets, Teniste (Baranov 61); Ainsalu, Antonov; Zenjov (Liivak 76), Vassiljev, Ojamaa (Käit 83); Sorga