Memphis Depay celebrates scoring the first of its two goals with the Netherlands against Belgium. ANP through Getty Images
Memphis Depay scored a brace when the Netherlands finished 25 years unsuccessfully against neighboring Belgium with a 4-1 blow to their hosts in the League of Nations in Brussels on Friday.
Steven Bergwijn and Denzel Dumfries scored the other two goals when the Dutch broke the record for almost six years unbeaten at home to Belgium in a strong change for the team, which had topped the FIFA rankings for three years until he was recently dismissed.
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Bergwijn struck home from outside the box in the 40th minute to give the Dutch a well-deserved half-time lead before Depay and Dumfries added more in the second half in a decisive performance.
Belgium, who lost Romelu Lukaku to injury at first, scored a consolation three minutes after the break with Michy Batshuayi, but were left behind and the result will be a serious setback as they prepare for the Cup. of the World this year.
The Dutchman, who last won in Belgium in 1997 and has since made eight unsuccessful derbies, broke home defense in the second half when Depay added a second in the 51st minute on a counterattack after a robbery in the middle of Davy Klaassen’s field and a quick. passing through the middle of Steven Berghuis.
Winger Daley Blind reacted faster to a rebound from a Berghuis shot 11 minutes later to set up the third goal with a pass to the face of the goal that Dumfries inserted into the back post.
Blind gave another assist three minutes later with a header to Depay, who deftly pulled the ball out with his thigh before hitting Simon Mignolet from close range.
“That this international match comes after a grueling season should not be an excuse. Probably not when you play against Holland,” Mignolet said.
“We have to learn from that. You can’t pass up a defeat like that.”
Belgium tried to score a goal after 13 minutes, but Michy Batshuayi made a great save on the low hard shot. A control from the VAR denied a goal in Belgium, but got a consolation right at the end of the match.
Belgium lost their last home game in a friendly against Spain in September 2016, when coach Roberto Martínez took over their first game.
Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk said he was not surprised by the victory away from home.
“We analyzed them well and executed our plans, we did very well,” he said. “It was a great night.”