Lively forward Noa Lang scored his first international goal and Memphis Depay got a late winner as group leaders Netherlands secured a dramatic 3-2 victory over Wales in their Nations League Group A4 clash at a festive De Kuip in Rotterdam on Tuesday.
After Lang had opened the scoring, Cody Gakpo added a second for the home side before Brennan Johnson pulled a goal back for the visitors.
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That was the way it stayed until Gareth Bale netted a 92nd-minute penalty which looked to secure a point for the Welsh, but Depay, who missed a penalty late on in the 2-2 draw with Poland last time out, still had time to score the winner.
Netherlands lead Group Four with 10 points from their four games, three ahead of second placed Belgium. Poland (four points) and Wales (one) fill the bottom two positions.
The Dutch have now won all 10 matches they have played against Wales, but were made to work hard for this latest victory.
The pace and quality on the ball of their young forwards had the Wales defenders chasing shadows in the opening stages and the home side were rewarded with two goals.
Lang had already forced a good save from goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey before he found the back of the net on 17 minutes as he twisted and turned past three Wales defenders and rifled his shot into the net.
Gakpo then scored in similar fashion six minutes later as it was his turn to bamboozle the visitors’ defence, holding off four defenders before a fortunate ricochet back into his path allowed him to fire low into the bottom corner of the goal from the edge of the box.
Wales mounted a rare attack midway through the opening half after they were gifted possession by Jordan Teze in the midfield. Johnson was able to pick his spot from the edge of the box with a precise finish for a third goal in the game in nine minutes.
Bale looked to have rescued a point late on when he coolly slotted in an equalizer from the penalty spot, but that joy for the visiting supporters lasted just a minute before Depay, on as a substitute, poked the ball into the net from close range to restore the Dutch advantage.