City defender Nathan Ake started as the Netherlands continued their EURO 2024 qualification campaign with a strong 3-0 win over Greece at the Philips Stadium.

After a victory and defeat in Ronald Koeman’s side’s opening two Group B matches, three vital points were needed to boost their hopes of reaching the showpiece in Germany next summer.

And thanks to goals from Marten de Roon, Cody Gakpo and Wout Weghorst, the 2010 World Cup finalists gained a precious victory which saw them climb to second in the standings with our versatile centre-back playing the first half’s entirety.

Chances were few and far between during the opening exchanges, but the hosts took the lead when the Atalanta midfielder’s precise finish flew past Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos.

They then soon doubled their advantage when Denzel Dumfries’ cross found Gakpo at the back post who controlled well and volleyed home from close range.

Koeman’s side had scored five goals across their opening two qualification fixtures and they extended their lead further in the first half when Wout Weghorst headed home an inviting cross from the Inter right-back.

Due to the Netherlands’ strong lead, the tempo of the match dropped after the interval with the hosts happy to maintain their strong lead.

The scoreline didn’t alter from 3-0 as the final whistle blew and next up for Ake and his national teammates is a meeting with the Republic of Ireland on Sunday 10 September at 19:45 (UK).

Elsewhere, Erling Haaland was an unused substitute as Norway recorded a fine 6-0 friendly victory over Jordan at Ullevaal Stadium.

Goals from Kristoffer Ajer, Antonio Nusa, Jorgan Larsen, Fredrik Bjorkan, Bard Finne and Hugo Vetlesen secured the success for Stale Solbakken’s side.

Next up for the European nation is a EURO qualifier with Georgia on Tuesday 12 September at 19:45 (UK).

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