Dutch stall England's momentum with 2-1 win

by

March 30, 2016
Daley Blind (right) of the Netherlands uses his right arm to hold back England's Harry Kane during the international friendly football match between England and The Netherlands at Wembley in London, yesterday. The Netherlands won 2-1.

LONDON (AP):

Three days after beating the world champions, England were given a reality check ahead of the European Championship by a team that didn't even qualify for the tournament.

England squandered a lead and lost 2-1 to the Netherlands in an international friendly at Wembley Stadium yesterday, stalling the momentum built up after consecutive wins over France in November and Germany on Saturday.

Jamie Vardy's 41st-minute goal, at the end of a flowing team move, looked like helping England to another victory over a traditional European power albeit a Dutch side massively hit by injuries and reeling from failing to qualify for Euro 2016.

defensive uncertainty

But the Netherlands took advantage of England's ongoing defensive uncertainty, with striker Vincent Janssen converting a 50th-minute penalty and then setting up substitute Luciano Narsingh for a winner in the 77th.

"It's very much highs and lows this week," England manager Roy Hodgson said, after the team's last match before he selects his 23-man squad for the Euros on May 12.

This was the last chance for England players to stake their claims and Hodgson chose an experimental team, mostly comprising fringe players.

Vardy did his chances no harm, scoring three days after also finding the net in the 3-2 win at Germany in Berlin. But it was a difficult evening for centre back John Stones, while debutant Danny Drinkwater so impressive and full of energy for unfancied leaders Leicester in the Premier League this season wasn't helped by being tied to a midfield anchor role.

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