Holland fail to bury Euros woe with 2-1 defeat against Greece

Holland fail to bury Euros woe with 2-1 defeat against Greece

Holland's bid to put the ignominy of failing to reach Euro 2016 behind them emphatically failed as they lost 2-1 at home to Greece in a friendly on Thursday night.

Goals from Konstantinos Mitroglou and Giannis Gianniotas turned the game on its head after Georginio Wijnaldum's opener in Eindhoven as defeat turned up the heat on Holland boss Danny Blind.

The Dutch were the most high-profile side not to qualify for the Euros, finishing in fourth place in their group, behind the Czech Republic, Iceland and Turkey.

They would have been hoping to go into their World Cup qualifying campaign, which starts in Sweden on Tuesday, on the back of a morale-boosting win, particularly against a Greece side which performed so awfully in their Euro qualifying campaign that they finished it bottom of a group containing the Faroe Islands.

Instead the hosts were left to reflect on another setback, their defensive frailties laid bare, ahead of their expected battle with France for the one automatic qualifying spot from Group A for Russia 2018.

Liverpool's summer signing Wijnaldum put the Dutch in front after 14 minutes, although it was his Premier League rival Vincent Janssen who deserved the credit.

The Tottenham man ran on to a pass in the right of the area, took the ball to the byline and turned back inside the full-back before sliding a pass across the face of goal where it more or less hit Wijnaldum on the goal-line and went in.

The lead lasted just 15 minutes, though.

Vasilis Torosidis was afforded time and space on the right to measure a cross and picked out Mitroglou, the one-time Fulham misfit now at Benfica, who had ghosted in at the back post to head home.

And worse was to come for Blind's men in the 74th minute when Gianniotas, who plays his club football in Cyprus with APOEL, took advantage of more slow and ponderous defending to slam home a rebound after goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet parried Mitroglou's effort.

Holland were unable to find a leveller as Greece, who open their World Cup qualifying campaign away to Gibraltar, held on for a notable win.


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