Netherlands wins friendly against England
England lost their International friendly match against Netherlands by 3-2 at Wembley. Dutch winger Arjen Robben scored the decisive third goal in injury time to give hosts England a disappointing defeat at Wembley.
Scott Parker was surprisingly picked up as England’s captain by Stuart Pearce ahead of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who returned to international football after a lengthy break.
Pearce chose Micah Richards and Leighton Baines as his full-backs while Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling started as centre-backs. Adam Johnson, Ashley Young and Gareth Barry also started the game as Danny Welbeck was the lone striker to play.
England were lively in the first half as Parker played the holding midfielder’s role alongside Gerrard. Netherlands, who played Arsenal skipper Robin van Persie despite a minor groin problem, could not make much in the half as the teams headed for the break at 0-0.
On returning to the pitch, Parker tried to adopt Gerrard’s style by going forward and putting in some dribbles. But, he ended up giving the ball to the Dutch in important situations.
Arjen Robben opened the account for his team with a 57th minute goal and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who came in for van Persie at half-time, made it 2-0 in the next minute off Dirk Kuyt’s only cross in the game which Baines could not block.
That left England with a mountain to climb, but Chelsea defender Gary Cahill got a goal back for the Three Lions in the 85th minute and Ashley Young equalized in the 90th minute to make the score 2-2.
The game seemed to be over until Robben reminded everyone of his goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford two years ago by scoring the winner off a deflection in the 92nd minute and the Dutch side emerged victorious over England.
Scott Parker showed that he can lead the England team very well without much experience at the international level. The harmony between players due to a neutral captain – that is no one from Chelsea, Liverpool or the Manchester clubs taking the armband – is best thing about having Parker as the man to lead England at Euro 2012.
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