AMSTERDAM – Georginio Wijnaldum scored a second-half double as the Netherlands defeated North Macedonia 3-0 to keep their perfect record on their way to the European Championship knockout stages on Monday (June 21).
The Netherlands had already sealed top spot in Group C after beating Ukraine and Austria, and they will play their last-16 game in Budapest on Sunday against one of the best third-placed finishers from Groups D, E or F.
North Macedonia, who were out of contention for the last 16 after back-to-back defeats, made a much-improved start as Ivan Trickovski’s early strike was ruled out for offside before Aleksandar Trajkovski smacked the post from 20 yards.
But Igor Angelovski’s side were soon caught out by a stunning Dutch counterattack when PSV Eindhoven forward Donyell Malen charged upfield to set up Memphis Depay, who slotted it home for his second goal of the tournament.
Wijnaldum doubled the Dutch advantage with a tap in from close range and added a third just before the hour mark to put the result beyond doubt in front of a partisan crowd at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
North Macedonia’s Goran Pandev received a guard of honour from his team mates when he was substituted off about 10 minutes later, in what he has said would be his final appearance for his country.