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  • By Alessandro Schiavone

Micky van de Ven's Holland dispatch Canada: could they go the distance like Denmark in '92 and Greece 20 years ago?

By Alessandro Schiavone at de Kuip, Rotterdam

Netherlands 4-0 Canada

Goals: Depay, Frimpong, Weghorst, van de Ven

Micky van de Ven's Netherlands cruised to a 4-0 win over Canada at De Kuip in Rotterdam to send a warning across the continent ahead of Euro 2024.

The Oranje recovered from a slow start to put superstars Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David's side to the sword with all four goals coming after tea time.

Memphis Depay, Jeremie Frimpong, Wout Weghorst and Virgil van Dijk did the damage for the rampant Dutch. The best news of the night is that nobody picked up an injury a week before the start of the tournament. And what struck is the Netherlands' embarrassment of riches especially at the back and in midfield, with almost a like-for-like replacement for each position.

Van de Ven didn't have much to do but was alert when called upon and is a more than reliable back-up for starters Matthijs de Ligt, van Dijk and Nathan Ake.

With the game still goalless, Cyle Larin missed a sitter on the stroke of half-time. It would have been easier to score than to miss for the ex-Bruges who fired wide in the six-yard area.

No one better than Brian Brobbey epitomizes Holland's lack of great centre-forwards with the wantaway Ajax man only mustering a shot at keeper Dayne St.Clair through on goal.

Despite some promising glimpses, Ronald Koeman's Elftal didn't get out of first gear until they finally opened the scoring on 50 minutes when Depay brilliantly connected with Jeremie Frimpong's delivery by sticking out his boot. The electrix Bayer Leverkusen winger then doubled his side's lead after burying his own rebound into the top-corner on 56 minutes.

Burnley flop Weghorst scored with his first touch when he converted the follow-up after the Canadian keeper spilled Jerdy Schouten's harmless effort into his path.

Liverpool star Van Dijk then headed home his the fourth.

The Dutch may not be favourites but they are as good as anyone.

And their sparkling second half confirmed most people's suspicions that if there is another surprise package like Denmark or Greece in the past, it could be the unheralded Dutch themselves.


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