Netherlands 3-0 Gibraltar: Ake nets twice to secure victory


Ronald Koeman claimed the first win of his second spell in charge of the Netherlands as the Oranje dispatched 10-man Gibraltar 3-0.

Nathan Ake scored twice in a game that saw the Netherlands have 50 attempts without allowing one at the other end, as Koeman's team got up and running in Euro 2024 qualifying following last week's heavy defeat to France.

Ake's second-half double came after Memphis Depay had put the Dutch ahead against the Group B minnows in Rotterdam on Monday.

It marked a 19th straight defeat in Euro qualifying for Gibraltar, who had Liam Walker sent off for a rash challenge on Dutch debutant Mats Wieffer.

In need of a response following their hammering in Paris, the Netherlands had control from the off, and the lead came in the 23rd minute.

Following a patient move, Denzel Dumfries – back from suspension – supplied an inviting cross that Depay glanced in.

Georginio Wijnaldum volleyed just over while Wout Weghorst twice went close – spurning a great chance when he shot wide from eight yards out before Dayle Coleing produced a smart reflex save to deny the Manchester United striker.

The Dutch doubled their lead five minutes after the break, Dumfries helping a deep cross back into the centre for Ake to head home.

Gibraltar were reduced to 10 men less than 60 seconds later. Walker caught Wieffer with a dangerous challenge, leaving referee Morten Krogh with little choice but to brandish a straight red.

Coleing denied Donyell Malen and Cody Gakpo while Roy Chipolina blocked Weghorst on the line, but Ake's deflected strike eight minutes from time added gloss to an easy victory.

What does it mean? Dutch hit an unprecedented half-century

Though they scored just three goals, the Netherlands recorded 50 shots and had 101 touches in the opposition box against Gibraltar. That is more than they have managed in any other match since Opta began collecting this data in August 2013. They registered a remarkable 5.04 expected goals (xG).

The Oranje also extended their unbeaten streak on home soil to 15 matches stretching back to a defeat to Mexico in October 2020.

Depay back on the scoresheet

After Mike Maignan saved his late penalty in Paris, Depay responded with a goal to maintain his impressive ratio, having now netted 44 times in 88 caps.

The Atletico Madrid forward has scored five goals against Gibraltar, making him only the third Netherlands international to net five or more times against a single opponent after Robin van Persie (six against Hungary) and Klaas Jan Huntelaar (five against San Marino).

Wieffer makes his mark

Wieffer turned in a solid performance as he became the third Feyenoord player to make his Netherlands debut in De Kuip this century, after Rick Karsdorp (October 2016) and Ruben Schaken (October 2012).

Though replaced by Daley Blind in the 63rd minute, the 23-year-old completed a game-high 123 passes during the contest.

That included 93 passes in the first half – at least 46 more than any of his team-mates, and four more than the entire Gibraltar team combined.

What's next?

The Netherlands switch their focus to the Nations League on June 14, when they face Croatia in the semi-finals in a mini-tournament they are hosting.