Dutch inflict reality check on England

England 1 Netherlands 2: England slipped to defeat in their last friendly before manager Roy Hodgson names his squad for the European Championships as Holland came from behind to win at Wembley.
Dutch inflict reality check on England

After the memorable comeback win in Germany this game was always going to struggle to live up to expectations, although a second goal in as many games from Jamie Vardy, the 100th of Hodgson’s reign, had the Three Lions on course for victor.

However, Holland, who have not qualified for the tournament in France, showed their quality as a Vincent Janssen penalty and a strike from sub Luciano Narsingh gave them a 2-1 win.

Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater was handed his England debut as manager Roy Hodgson made eight changes. The 26-year-old came in for his first cap while stand-in captain James Milner was joined by Liverpool team-mate Daniel Sturridge, who returned to international football after over a year and a half away through injury.

Fraser Forster started in goal at Wembley, while Kyle Walker, John Stones, Ross Barkley and Jamie Vardy were also named in Hodgson’s starting line-up, three days after England won 3-2 against Germany in Berlin.

Wembley fell silent before kick-off in memory of those killed in the Brussels terror attacks a week ago, while the 14th minute saw the stadium rise to applaud in memory of Holland great Johan Cruyff, who died on Thursday.

England, who started with a diamond in midfield, pressed Holland back high up the pitch right from the off. Only a last-gasp challenge from Jeffrey Bruma prevented Vardy getting an early shot away moments after the visitors were denied a penalty when Rose appeared to trip Joel Veltman as he burst into the England area.

The game’s first meaningful effort came courtesy of Wijnaldum, who was strong enough to retain possession before bending in a shot which Forster did well to turn behind. England finally whirred into life just before the half-hour mark, but Vardy blazed wide.

Tottenham full-back Rose was again freed by Milner, cutting the ball back for Sturridge, whose shot was blocked - with Stones then seeing an effort hacked off the line by Vincent Janssen.

As the hosts began to turn the screw, Barkley turned and struck a shot just wide of Jeroen Zoet’s left-hand post. And they duly took the lead moments later as a free-flowing move involving Lallana and Walker was finished off by Vardy.

The second-half started with Sturridge freeing himself in the box and testing Zoet with a low drive before Lallana bent a shot wide after a burst forward from Barkley. But Holland were allowed back into the game as Rose conceded a penalty for handball and Janssen thrashed the resulting spot-kick past Forster.

Holland were rallying and Riechedly Bazoer’s deflected effort almost caught Forster out but the Southampton stopper gathered at the second time of asking.Hodgson reacted by introducing Nathaniel Clyne and Theo Walcott from the bench but it was Vardy who came close to a spectacular second, hammering in a long-range strike which Zoet did superbly well to tip over.

Walcott came close shortly after having been played in by Stones, but Blind did well to block the Arsenal forward’s effort.

With his inconsistent club form, many have suggested Walcott could be the odd one out when Hodgson picks his strikers for the European Championship - but he was keen to show what he could do here, breaking into the Holland box at pace before arrowing a shot just over the bar.


Forster, Walker, Smalling (Jagielka 70), Stones, Rose (Clyne 58), Milner (Alli 82), Drinkwater (Dier 85), Vardy, Barkley, Lallana (Kane 70), Sturridge (Walcott 58).


Zoet, Veltman, Bruma, Blind, Willems (Van Aanholt 82), Wijnaldum, Bazoer (van Ginkel 79), Afellay, Depay, Janssen (Clasie 90), Promes (Narsingh 37).

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