Spain sunk by double Dutch strike in Amsterdam

Holland 2 Spain 0

Spain sunk by double Dutch strike in Amsterdam

The last time the two countries met, at last year’s World Cup finals in Brazil, the hosts claimed a comfortable 5-1 victory over the European champions and Spain came here looking for revenge.

But goals from Stefan de Vrij and Davy Klaassen — his first for his country — saw the Oranje dominate the first half.

Spain came back stronger after the break with the introduction of Manchester City’s David Silva, but they could not break down the Dutch defence and left Amsterdam goalless.

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque handed a debut to Malaga striker Juanmi, who was called up after the injured Diego Costa pulled out last week as they came into the match on the back of Friday’s 1-0 Euro 2016 qualifying win over Ukraine.

The home side started strongly and Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea was called into action early on with a brilliant save to keep out Memphis Depay’s drilled long-range shot.

But Holland did not have to wait too long to open the scoring as Lazio defender De Vrij headed home Wesley Sneijder’s cross from the left with a close-range finish after 13 minutes, giving De Gea no chance.

Just three minutes later, 22-year-old Ajax midfielder Klaassen doubled their lead as he fired Jetro Willems’ cross into the top corner from six yards out to claim his first goal for his country.

The away side were playing very defensively and it was not until just before the half-hour mark that they had their first real chance of note as Gerard Pique got into a dangerous position in the box when a corner was sent in, but he was thwarted by Holland stopper Kenneth Vermeer.

Moments later, debutant Juanmi sent his long-range effort wide as the visitors tried to work their way back into the game.

Del Bosque made a double substitution as the second half got under way, bringing on debutant Vitolo and Silva for Pedro and Isco in a tactical move to break down the Dutch defence.

But it was Holland that came closest to scoring as Depay once again tested De Gea, who did well to keep the ball out 10 minutes in, before Mario Suarez made a speedy clearance.

Spain started to come to life following their second-half changes as Silva brought a new purpose with him. Just before the hour mark, Pique tested Vermeer with a free-kick to the left of the 18-yard box, but the keeper again denied him.

Sevilla winger Vitolo should have done better after 67 minutes as he has lots of space in the box but still managed to send his shot flying past the left post, while his corner two minutes later was blocked by De Vrij.

It was all Spain now and Santi Cazorla’s effort sailed wide before Cesc Fabregas saw his long-range chance comfortably saved by Vermeer.

The Dutch came looking for a third with less than 10 minutes remaining as Georginio Wijnaldum got possession in the box, but he missed the target from 12 yards out.

Vitolo almost pulled one back for the visitors before his close-range header was blocked and Holland held on to win.

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