De Boer, who drew three times and lost once after the Ronald Koeman era, was finally able to add his first three-pointer. A much needed one, because he had been waiting for it for a while.
Last year, the Dutch managed to reach the final of the Nations League, which was lost to Portugal.
Apparently this generation of internationals wants more, because they really did everything they could to stay in the race against the Bosnians.
De Boer was also looking forward to it, as evidenced by his very offensive position on paper. Memphis started from the left against Bosnia, Luuk de Jong was in the forefront and Steven Berghuis started on the right.
In midfield with Frenkie de Jong and Georginio Wijnaldum, space was made for Davy Klaassen this time. Donny van de Beek, effective in De Boer’s last two international matches, started on the bench.
The Orange started fiercely and immediately got an unintended big chance, when a cross from Owen Wijndal hit the post.
After six minutes it was still hit. Denzel Dumfries, rightly criticized for his sometimes bad crosses, thought the completely detached Wijnaldum, who couldn’t miss: 1-0.
The Liverpool midfielder scored again seven minutes later, after Berghuis returned a ball with his head: 2-0.
Before half an hour was up, Luuk de Jong made it 3-0, after another excellent assist from Berghuis. But the arbitral trio showed that they could not do without VAR.
The goal was wrongly disallowed due to alleged offside, while De Jong had remained behind the ball and could never have been offside. Unfortunately, there is no VAR in the Nations League and so the bad decision remained.
With a VAR, Darko Todorovic also would not have been on the field anymore. The Bosnian defender nasty kicked at Memphis’ foot, while the ball was nowhere near. The French referee did not see it and only drew yellow, like a small bandage for the bleeding.
Orange continued to attack and hunt for a bigger score. Berghuis had good shooting opportunities, but the Feyenoord player was unhappy in the finish. A good shot from Memphis was tapped wide.
The 3-0 fell in the 55th minute, when Dumfries again delivered a good assist and Memphis – on the verge of offside – only had to extend.
Despite the predominance of Orange, Bosnia did get opportunities. The visitors made it 3-1, when the Netherlands was more occupied with attacking than defending. But no further goals were scored.
The Netherlands will know later tonight what it has to do next Wednesday (see box below) against Poland, in the last Nations League match, also the last international match, of this year.
Then it is also clear whether the Orange qualifies again for the final round of the Nations League.
Orange, now what?
The Netherlands is now at the top of group A of the Nations League, but that gives a distorted picture. Number 2 Poland and number 3 Italy will face each other later tonight and can still go over the Orange.
But if it stays that way, the Netherlands will not only be allowed to participate in the Nations League final round next year, but also organize the mini-tournament in its own country.
Thanks to the victory over Bosnia, the Netherlands knows in any case that it is the group head in the draw for the World Cup qualifying pools.
The Orange therefore avoids at least one strong opponent when qualifying for the tournament in the winter of 2022.