England failed to follow up on Saturday night’s impressive victory in Germany as they were defeated at Wembley Stadium 2-1 by Holland in their first loss at the national stadium since 2013.
The Three Lions’ dramatic comeback in Berlin at the weekend, which had seen them overturn a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 courtesy of a late Eric Dier header, had left many England fans full of optimism ahead of a meeting back home with a Holland side that had failed to even qualify for the European Championships for the first time since 1984. And not even a torrential downpour on the famous Wembley way prior to kick off could dampen the spirits of the thousands of fans in attendance for this international friendly.
Before kick off, the stadium impeccably observed a minute’s silence in memory of those affected by the terror attacks in Brussels last week. In the 14th minute, a further tribute followed from the Wembley crowd as England and Holland fans alike rose from their seats to applaud the memory of recently passed Dutch legend Johan Cruyff.
On the field, England looked the more threatening outfit in the first half but struggled to break down the Holland defence with their steady build-up play. In the 41st minute however, the home side were ahead as Jamie Vardy continued his meteoric rise with a second international goal in four days by firing home Kyle Walker’s cut back in the area.
Roy Hodgson’s men couldn’t defend their lead for long however. The Three Lions’ backline had looked shaky throughout the evening and a costly error five minutes after the restart allowed Vincent Janssen to level from the spot after full-back Danny Rose had handled in the area.
Janssen then turned creator as the Dutch side stole a memorable victory in the 77th minute. The big forward’s tough challenge on Phil Jagielka allowed him to win possession in the box and place a low cross into the path of first-half substitute Luciano Narsingh, who fired past Fraser Forster to give Holland the lead and eventual victory.
It was arguably a harsh scoreline on England, who had controlled much of the action, but it was certainly one to bring expectations back down to earth after a win over the world champions. Hodgson’s side now look ahead to three more friendlies in May and June against Turkey, Australia and Portugal before they kick off their Euro 2016 campaign against Russia in Marseille on 11th June.
Line-up: Fraser Forster, Kyle Walker, Chris Smalling (Phil Jagielka ’70), John Stones, Danny Rose (Nathaniel Clyne ’58), Danny Drinkwater (Eric Dier ’85), James Milner (Dele Alli ’82), Adam Lallana (Harry Kane ’70), Ross Barkley, Jamie Vardy, Daniel Sturridge (Theo Walcott ’58)
Unused Subs: Tom Heaton, Gary Cahill, Jordan Henderson, Danny Welbeck
Scorers: Jamie Vardy ’41
Line-up: Jeroen Zoet, Joel Veltman, Jeffrey Bruma, Daley Blind, Jetro Willems (Patrick Van Aanholt ’82), Georginio Wijnaldum, Riechedly Bazoer (Marco Van Ginkel ’79), Ibrahim Affelay, Quincy Promes (Luciano Narsingh ’37), Vincent Janssen (Jordy Clasie ’90), Memphis Depay
Unused Subs: Virgil Van Dijk, Rick Karsdorp, Kenneth Vermeer, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Luuk De Jong, Timo Letschert, Michel Vorm
Scorers: Vincent Janssen ’50 (pen), Luciano Narsingh ’77
Date: 29th March 2016
Competition: International Friendly
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz