2018-19 UEFA Nations League, League A
  • Georginio Wijnaldum (44')
  • Memphis Depay (90'+6' PEN)

Netherlands beat France to relegate Germany in UEFA Nations League

Memphis Depay scored a late Panenka penalty after Georgino Wijnaldum had given Netherlands the lead in a 2-0 victory France in the UEFA Nations League Group A1 -- a result which sees Germany relegated.

Having drawn at home to France in their opening match, Joachim Low's side suffered back-to-back defeats to drop down to the tournament's second tier.

After failing to qualify for the past two major tournaments, Netherlands were expected to be the "whipping boys" of arguably the toughest UEFA Nations League group, but the Dutch are enjoying somewhat of a renaissance under new manager Ronald Koeman.

And they showed their intent straight from kick-off -- almost taking the lead within two minutes. Memphis Depay powered his way past the France defence before pulling a ball back for Wijnaldum, whose effort was blocked on the line.

The hosts were dominating proceedings in the first half, but were almost behind when Benjamin Pavard hit a stunning volley -- reminiscent of his superb goal against Argentina in the World Cup -- which was tipped over just before the half hour.

Pavard's effort saw Les Bleus grow into the contest as they saw more of the ball before Wijnaldum went close again with a header. However, the Liverpool man did finally get on the scoresheet just before half-time.

France midfielder Steven Nzonzi misjudged a header which fell right into Ryan Babel's path inside the six-yard box. The Besiktas man steadied himself, but his effort was saved by Hugo Lloris -- only to fall kindly for Winjnaldum, who slotted home to open the scoring.

Koeman's side continued to dominate after the break with Memphis causing the France backline all sorts of problems. Lloris had to get down well to parry a late free kick past the post before again saving from the Lyon forward following a well-worked corner.

And after Moussa Sissoko was adjudged to have pushed Frenkie De Jong in the penalty area, referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot and Depay stepped up to chip the ball over Lloris.

Netherlands now have the chance to secure a top spot when they travel to Gelsenkirchen for the group's final match, where victory would see them overtake France.

However, a win for Germany would mean the French go through to the next stage and have the chance to compete for the first-ever UEFA Nations League trophy.