HOLLAND HURL ENGLAND BACK DOWN TO EARTH
Vincent Janssen and Luciano Narsingh cancelled out Jamie Vardy’s second international goal to steer a beaten and battered Dutch side to victory over England. The Three Lions’ defeat to the Netherlands, who have not even qualified for Euro 2016, was their first at Wembley since 2013.
Daniel Sturridge returned to the England starting XI after eighteen months out and Danny Drinkwater of Leicester City made his international debut as Roy Hodgson rotated his line-up from the team that won the thriller in Berlin. After tributes had been made to the Brussels attack victims and indeed Johan Cruyff, The Netherlands kicked off and started the game well. English based Georgio Wijnaldum, Ibrahim Afellay and Memphis Depay all started the match respectively.
After Danny Rose’s dodgy challenge on right-back Veltman was left unpunished, Fraser Forster become the first goalkeeper needed, as he parried Wijnaldum’s whipped effort smartly. As England earnt their first corner, Jamie Vardy’s attempted over-head kick turned into more of a pass to Everton’s John Stones. Veltman blocked the youngster’s strike on the line. Ross Barkley, teammate of Stones for both club and country, then fired a long-range strike just beyond the post and the dive of goalkeeper Joroen Zoet. Just as it looked as if the sides would go into the break level, Vardy scored his first Wembley goal. Milner, Adam Lallana and Kyle Walker were all involved in a slick move, before Walker drew in the keeper, leaving Vardy free to put the Lions into the lead. At half-time, England had what could be considered an undeserved lead.
The first chance of the second half went to Danny Blind’s side. John Stones has noticeably had a dip in form recently. Many have criticised his often too risky strategies to begin attacks. His runs out of defence are a glorious sight for any supporter of England or Everton, but when he loses the ball the nation grits its teeth. As striker Vincent Janssen close him a down, a revelation for AZ this season, Stones attempted to perform a slick turn. He stepped on the ball and slipped. The red-hot striker was left in front of goal against the might that is Fraser Forster. Forster made an unbelievably strong one-handed save of Janssen’s effort; substitute Luciano Narsingh kept the Dutch possession going. His cross into the box hit Danny Rose’s arm, and although he looked to be trying to avoid contact, a penalty was awarded. Janssen stepped up to take following a good display on his debut against France the week earlier. His penalty was rifled into the top-right corner. Forster dived wrong way and Janssen had his first international goal.
Vardy hit a magnificently struck effort soon after, but Zoet saved agilely. Holland took an unexpected lead soon after. As Janssen darted into the box, he seemed to have fouled Jagielka, but the referee kept his whistle in his pocket, and Janssen squared beautifully. England’s attention turned to how the referee had not blown his whistle, and Narsingh, born in India, was left open to score past Forster. The Netherlands wheeled away celebrating as Hodgson turned away in shock. The Netherlands held on to a sobering defeat of England. Questions are still to be asked before the Euros for Roy Hodgson, but the win for the Dutch could be considered to a wakeup call to the rest of Europe that when the tournament finishes, they will aim to come out fighting again. Holland stole the victory; 2-1 to Danny Blind’s side at Wembley.