Dutch double troubles England
Written By: Robert Halter
England returned to the Wembley national stadium end of March to face Holland in an international friendly. There was no love lost between the English and Dutch after a strong challenge by Danny Rose on Jeffrey Bruma in the area during the third minute of play. On ten minutes from a Jetro Willems throw in, the ball fell to Memphis Depay, but he was unable to find the target with a miss timed strike. In the fourteenth minute a ring of applause in honour of Johan Cruff’s shirt number paid tribute to his life from 1947 to 2016. On the quarter of the hour mark, after build up play from Georginio Wijnaldum and a ball across from Quincy Promes, the Three Lions stand in keeper, Fraser Forster, parried away a shot by Ibrahim Afellay, from the edge of the box. Five minutes later, Promes took a nasty tumble while pushed in the face by Rose, but after minor treatment was soon back on his feet. In the twenty fifth minute, after Adam Lallana lost the ball out to Wijnaldum, it required a full length save by Forster to turn behind a curling effort by Wijnaldum. But three minutes later, England responded as Rose opened up space for Jamie Vardy, who struck the ball over. Although within sixty seconds, the Dutch pressed again, as Wijnaldum drifted inside, before Promes chipped a shot above the upright. On thirty two minutes, from England captain James Milner’s corner, a miss timed scissors kick by Ross Barkley, found John Stones, whose low drive was hooked away by Vincent Janssen, in front of his goalkeeper, Jeroen Loet. Due to his earlier injury, Promes was replaced by Luciano Narsingh. Then following a foul on Daniel Sturridge by Dutch captain, Daley Blind, a quickly taken free kick by Milner to Sturridge was then met with a sweeping strike by Barkley, which went fractions past the left post. But it was England, that opened their account on forty one minutes, after Milner found Lallana, who spread the ball out to Kyle Walker and the fox in the box was Vardy, who fired the ball into the bottom right corner. Into the second half and on forty six minutes, from a Walker throw in, on the turn, Sturridge brought out a save from Zoet, who stooped down low at his near post, to hold onto the ball. Two minutes later, Barkley was the charge of the light brigade, as he strode forward before the ball was curled over by Lallana. But a slip by John Stones, put England in trouble, as a Janssen drive brought out a theatrical stop by Forster, but the follow up shot by Narsingh, struck the arm of Rose and referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz, awarded the Dutch a spot kick, which Janssen rammed into the goal, to bring the game level in the fiftieth minute. Four minutes on, as Narsingh put the ball over to Riechedly Bazoer, his strike cannoned off Danny Drinkwater but into Forster’s safe keeping. England soon brought on Theo Walcott for Sturridge and Nathaniel Clyne for Rose. On the hour mark, after a lay off by Lallana, a rasping strike by Vardy produced a flying save from Zoet. In the next two minutes, an intervention by Blind kept out Walcott, who had been played through by Stones. In the sixty seventh minute, after Walcott latched onto a pass from Lallana, he turned past Willems, before unleashing an effort which rose past the goal mouth. Further Three Lions subs were made as Harry Kane took over from Lallana and Chris Smalling made way for Phil Jagielka. But in a dramatic turn around on seventy seven minutes, from a ball through by Bazoer, as Janssen shoulder barged Jagielka, his ball to the far post was despatched by Narsingh, for a 2-1 advantage to the Dutch, before Bazoer left the field for Marco Van Ginkel, with further changes made first by England as Dele Alli was on for Milner and then by Holland with Patrick Van Aanholt for Willems. After Blind was caught in possession by Barkley, the ball was put through to Kane, whose low measured effort went narrowly wide in the eighty third minute, before man of the match Drinkwater was replaced by Dier and after the Dutch brought on Jordy Clasie for Jansen, Holland claimed a 2-1 victory.