Sports

Euro 2020: Netherlands beat Austria to make last 16

*de Bruyne sends Belgium into knockout round
*Ukraine bounce back to send North Macedonia out

The Netherlands booked their spot in last 16 at Euro 2020 as they saw off Austria in Amsterdam to win Group C with a game to spare.
Frank de Boer’s side, who beat Ukraine in their opening fixture, look to be hitting their stride as they outclassed the visitors in front of 12,000 fans at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
Talisman Memphis Depay put the hosts ahead from the spot after David Alaba brought down flying wing-back Denzel Dumfries, who capped a fine performance by adding the second from a swift break in the second half, reports the BBC.
The Dutch, who failed to qualify for the past two major tournaments, are into the knockout stages at the European Championship for the first time since 2008.
Austria started their campaign with victory over North Macedonia and their progression will be decided in the final group match against Ukraine.
De Boer came in for some criticism for using a 5-3-2 formation in the build-up but stuck with it after an entertaining 3-2 opening win against Ukraine.
He was rewarded as the Netherlands secured a place in the knockout stages at their first major tournament since reaching the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup.
Meanwhile, Kevin de Bruyne inspired Belgium to a comeback win against Denmark that secured their place in the last 16 of Euro 2020 as fans and players paid tribute to Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen, who is recovering after suffering cardiac arrest.
Eriksen is in hospital after he collapsed on the pitch at the Parken Stadium during Saturday’s game against Finland.
Tributes were paid to Denmark’s talismanic number 10 before and during the game, with play stopped in the 10th minute as players, officials and supporters joined together for a minute’s applause.
That came after Yussuf Poulsen gave the hosts a dream start just one minute and 39 seconds into the game, slotting in after a mistake in the Belgium defence.
De Bruyne was sent on at the start of the second half and the Manchester City midfielder changed the game.
He played a part in the equaliser, receiving a pass from Romelu Lukaku before superbly finding Thorgan Hazard to fire home, and then drove in the winner with 20 minutes remaining after a brilliant move started by Lukaku.
Martin Braithwaite went close to a late equaliser for Denmark but his header skimmed the top of the bar.
Victory means Belgium are top of Group B with six points from two games while Denmark are bottom of the standings with zero points.
And in the first game of the day, Ukraine bounced back from their opening defeat at Euro 2020 as they held on to beat tournament debutants North Macedonia in an entertaining encounter in Bucharest.
Having fought back from two goals down before ultimately losing 3-2 to the Netherlands on Sunday, Andriy Shevchenko’s side ended a run of six successive European Championship defeats to remain in contention in Group C.
Captain Andriy Yarmolenko capitalised on poor defending from a corner after 28 minutes, before the West Ham forward’s pass set up Roman Yaremchuk, who slotted neatly into the bottom corner five minutes later.
Leeds United’s Ezgjan Alioski followed up his own saved penalty to hand a much-improved North Macedonia a second-half lifeline, but they could not find an equaliser despite goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski saving Ruslan Malinovskiy’s penalty in the closing stages.
RESULTS
GROUP B
Denmark 1 – 2 Belgium
GROUP C
Ukraine 2 – 1 North Macedonia
Netherlands 2 – 0 Austria

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