Netherlands 5 (Wijnaldum 39, de Jong 61, John 69, Hoesen 83, Fer 90+1)
Russia 1 (Cheryshev 65)
The Jong Oranje qualified for last four of the Under-21 European Champions after romping to 5-1 win against ten-man Russia in Jerusalem on Sunday evening.
Throughout the majority of the first half the Russians were showing the same resilience and organisation that frustrated Spain in their first group game. It took Holland 39 minutes before PSV attacking midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum broke the Russian guard.
Wijnaldum drove at the opposition defence before rifling hard and low into the bottom corner, the ball taking the slightest deflection off defender Taras Burlak. It was an eye-catching strike and the balance was further shifted in the Cor Pot’s teams favour when Dinamo Moscow defender Nikita Chicherin was shown red soon after half-time.
Russia did show flashes of promise, but Chicherin’s dismissal for a foul on Adam Maher was the first real blow. Holland took full advantage when Borussia Mönchengladbach striker Luuk De Jong sent goalkeeper Nikolai Zabolotni the wrong way in the 61st minute with a clever header from Marco van Ginkel’s probing cross.
The spirit inside the ten-men of Nikolai Pisarev’s side responded four minutes later when playmaker Alan Dzagoev’s header smashed the post and bounced straight into the path of Denis Cheryshev. Pot urged his team forward, the Dutch soon hit back and made it 3-1 when Benfica winger Ola John gambled on De Jong’s flick-on and dinked over the Russian ‘keeper.
A similar finish gave substitute striker Danny Hoesen the fourth goal with his first touch after coming on. Leroy Fer repeated his feat in the first group game against Germany and scored a goal in injury time to send the Russians home. The Dutch need just a point against Spain to finish top of the group thanks to their superior goal difference.
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