Sports, Football

Dutch thrash Iceland 4-0

By Reuters
Published : 11 Jun 2024 09:30 PM

Netherlands' delight with an emphatic 4-0 win over Iceland in their last warm-up match on Monday before heading to the Euros turned to despair when it was announced that playmaker Frenkie de Jong would not be going to the tournament in Germany.

De Jong has been battling to be fit in time after suffering several ankle injuries this season playing for Barcelona.

He tried training for the first time with his team mates on Sunday, after a week of individual work, but following examinations on Monday doctors said he would not be ready in time.

That put a damper on Dutch spirits despite the impressive scoreline at the Feijenoord Stadium.

De Jong's diagnosis was made public immediately after the game but coach Ronald Koeman said he knew about it some four hours before kickoff and had told the players. "Tests have shown that he cannot yet do what he should be able to do. He gets a reaction from his ankle every time after training," Koeman told Dutch television.

"Then you have to conclude that he will not be 100% fit for the next three weeks. I already thought that playing against Poland (in the Group D opener) would be difficult."

De Jong posted a reaction on social media. "I am sad and disappointed that I will not make it to the European Championship," said the 26-year-old.

"We have done everything we can in recent weeks, but unfortunately my ankle needs more time.

"It is a dream and the greatest honor to represent your country at a final tournament, to wear the orange shirt, sing the national anthem and feel the support of the entire country. But now I, like the entire Orange legion, will cheer our team on from the sidelines. Let's go boys."

Earlier the Dutch made sure of a good send off in their last warm-up game as Xavi Simons finally scored for his country, in his 14th international, to put the Dutch 1-0 up at halftime.

Virgil van Dijk got on the scoresheet for a second successive game before Donyell Malen added the third.

Wout Weghorst netted the fourth on the stroke of full time as the Dutch prepare to face Poland on Sunday in Hamburg followed by France and Austria in the group stage at the finals.