he Netherlands secured their first win under coach Frank De Boer on Sunday, defeating Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-1 in Amsterdam to stay in contention for top spot in Group 1A in the UEFA Nations League.
Both teams were missing several players in the match at an empty Johan Cruijff Arena. The Netherlands had to do without injured captain Virgil van Dijk, among others, and Bosnia were without capitan Edin Dzeko, who tested positive for COVID-19.
‘Oranje’ started furiously in their fifth match under De Boer, who succeeded current FC Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman last summer. In previous matches under De Boer, the Dutch had lost to Mexico and drawn with Italy, Bosnia and Spain.
Georginio Wijnaldum opened the scoring for the home side following a cross from Denzel Dumfries on the right. After a fluent attack, Wijnaldum doubled the lead in the 13th minute from Steven Berghuis’ headed assist. Luuk de Jong was on target but his goal was ruled for offside.
The Dutch sat back a little in the second half, but still made it 3-0 after Memphis Depay got on the end of another cross from Dumfries. Bosnia scored a consolation goal through Smail Prevljak in the 63rd minute.
The win means the Netherlands, who play Poland in Chorzow on Wednesday, can still finish first in the group and qualify for the final round next year. By contrast, defeat means Bosnia are relegated from the highest division of the Nations League.