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Netherlands 3-2 Wales: Late drama again as Depay sinks Wales

Memphis Depay struck a last-gasp winner as the Netherlands beat Wales in stoppage time for the second time in a week.

Memphis Depay celebrates his late winner
Memphis Depay celebrates his late winner AFP via Getty Images

The Netherlands made it a perfect ten against Wales as a last-gasp Memphis Depay goal secured victory – just seconds after Gareth Bale had seemingly earned the visitors an unlikely point in Rotterdam.

Key moments

17' Lang fires hosts into lead
23' Gakpo slots in second
26' Johnson halves Wales deficit
90' +2 Bale levels from the spot
90' +3 Depay wins it for the Dutch

Match in brief: Depay decisive late on

The home side started on the front foot and were rewarded when Vincent Janssen teed up Noa Lang, who sent the defence one way and then the other before firing in.

The Dutch celebrate after the final whistle
The Dutch celebrate after the final whistleAFP via Getty Images

Cody Gakpo got the Netherlands' second six minutes later, rolling in after his initial shot had been blocked, but Wales' own rising star Brennan Johnson swiftly halved the arrears when he converted Harry Wilson's pass.

The home side continued to be in the ascendancy after the break but Wales were always a threat, not least when Johnson burst through only to be denied by Jasper Cillessen.

Wayne Hennessey kept out Janssen's effort at the other end and as the home side kept missing their chances, they looked to have been made to pay when Gareth Bale converted from the spot after Tyrell Malacia was adjudged to have fouled Connor Roberts.

But, virtually from the restart, the Netherlands won it as Depay, who missed from the spot late on against Poland on Saturday, pounced to score his 42nd international goal.

Group 4 Live now

Played P Won W Draws D Lost L For Against Goal difference Points Pts
NED Netherlands
Playing now
4 3 1 0 11 6 5 10
BEL Belgium
Playing now
4 2 1 1 9 6 3 7
POL Poland
Playing now
4 1 1 2 5 10 -5 4
WAL Wales
Playing now
4 0 1 3 5 8 -3 1

Derek Brookman, match reporter

The Dutch tighten their grip on first place in Group A4 after another late win over Wales. The first-half goalscorers – Lang and Gakpo for the Dutch, Johnson for Wales – showed that the next generation on both sides is ready to step up and take centre stage. All three players were full of running, and showed admirable composure in front of goal. Then the wise heads came on to add some late drama to another cracking Rotterdam contest to leave Wales facing a battle with Poland to preserve their status in the top tier.

De Ligt on 'amazing' last-gasp Dutch win

Reaction

Noa Lang, Netherlands striker, speaking to UEFA.com: "It feels like a dream come true, especially because [I scored my first international goal] in my home town. I’m over the moon. There were a lot of family and friends in the stadium. I couldn’t be happier."

Ben Davies, Wales defender, speaking to UEFA.com: "I’m very proud of the boys. We’re competing with the best teams in Europe. We stayed in the game and we fought hard, and I’m just disappointed that we didn’t see it over the line and take a point."

Matthijs de Ligt , Netherlands defender, speaking to UEFA.com: "Unbelievable. Obviously in the last game against Poland we missed the chance to score the winning goal, and to now do it in the dying seconds is something amazing."

Noa Lang scored his first international goal
Noa Lang scored his first international goalAFP via Getty Images

Key stats

  • Depay is now second in the Netherlands' all-time scoring charts on 42 goals.
  • Only Greece (nine) have a longer current unbeaten run in the UEFA Nations League than the Netherlands' eight games.
  • Wales have lost only two of their last 14 matches, both against the Dutch.
  • The Oranje have won all ten of their games against Wales.
  • The Netherlands have scored two or more goals in each of their last nine matches against Wales.
  • Janssen made his first Netherlands appearance since October 2017.

Line-ups

Netherlands: Cillessen; Teze (De Vrij 46), De Ligt, Martins Indi; Hateboer (Dumfries 46), Koopmeiners, F de Jong, Malacia; Janssen (Depay 73), Gakpo, Lang (Bergwijn 73).

Wales: Hennessey; B Davies, Mepham, Rodon (Gunter 67), Burns (C Roberts 46); Wilson, Smith (Ramsey 63), Ampadu, Thomas; Johnson, James (Bale 70).

What happens after the UEFA Nations League group stage?

The four group winners in League A will advance to the knockout finals with, in principle, one appointed as hosts. The semi-finals will be played on 14 and 15 June 2023 with the final and third-place play-off to follow on 18 June

The teams finishing fourth in the groups in League A will be relegated to League B for the 2024/25 edition.