AMSTERDAM: Germany’s World Cup hangover shows no signs of lifting after Holland’s record-breaking 3-0 win in the UEFA Nations League.
For the first time in their history – 41 international matches – Holland beat their neighbours by three goals to ensure Joachim Low’s own landmark match was not a memorable one.
Goals from Liverpool duo Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum, either side of one from Memphis Depay, inflicted a sixth defeat in 10 matches for Germany, a run which includes their early exit at the group stage in Russia in the summer.
It left Low, who surpassed Sepp Herberger to set a new record in his 168th game in charge of the national team, with more problems to solve with his side goalless and winless after two Nations League matches.
For the first time in their history they have gone three competitive matches without scoring, a situation which was not helped by Low giving a debut to Mark Uth despite the Schalke striker not scoring so far this season.
Having opened their Nations League campaign with a goalless draw in France, who promptly went on to beat Holland to seize control of the group, Germany needed to make an impact in Amsterdam and they initially took the game to their hosts.
RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner had the first chance in the 15th minute, having been played in by Thomas Muller, but his heavy touch took him too wide and the opportunity was lost.
Holland, however, were able to weather the early storm and centre-back Matthijs de Ligt’s header from Depay’s free-kick was saved by Manuel Neuer.
Germany were missing arguably the Bundesliga’s top two performers this season in Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus (six goals) and Bayer Leverkusen teenager Kai Havertz (four goals) through injury, and that lessened their potency somewhat.
It allowed Holland to grow into the game and when Depay swung over a 29th-minute corner, Ryan Babel headed against the crossbar and Van Dijk reacted quickest to nod past Neuer.
Van Dijk’s Liverpool team-mate Wijnaldum fired wide from just outside the penalty area after being teed up by debutant Steven Bergwijn’s back-heel, while Germany’s response saw Muller fire into the side-netting having run in behind the defence.
Germany stepped things up again at the start of the second half and the 57th-minute introductions of Leory Sane, in particular, and Julian Draxler injected some urgency into proceedings.
Sane should have scored within eight minutes of coming on as Joshua Kimmich slipped a pass through the inside-left channel only for the Manchester City winger to drill a shot across goal and wide.
Holland manager Ronald Koeman tried to halt Germany’s progress with a double substitution of his own, sending on Quincy Promes and Arnaut Groeneveld for Babel and Bergwijn .
That was further reinforced when centre-back Nathan Ake replaced midfielder Frenkie de Jong, although it was attack which ultimately proved the best form of defence.
Three minutes from time Germany gave away possession in midfield and Holland sprang a two-on-two counter in which Promes squared for Depay to take a touch and fire between the legs of Neuer.
Germany’s disarray was almost punished again in added time when Depay broke clear and beat Neuer again but his shot smashed against the crossbar.
However, Wijnaldum did not make the same mistake when he burst into the box, firing across the Germany goalkeeper and inside the far post to leave Holland celebrating their first win over Germany since 2002 and their first in a competitive game since 1992.