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876 vs. Netherlands

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952 vs. Netherlands
Wednesday, 29 February 2012
A Vauxhall International Friendly Match

England 2 Netherlands 3 [0-0]

The National Stadium, Wembley, Brent, Greater London
Kick-off (GMT): 8.00pm.
Attendance: 76,283

94 minutes 45:04 & 49:21 Netherlands kicked-off

[1-2] Gary Cahill 85 84:36
played in by Baines and unleashed a 7-yard right-footed shot underneath Stekelenburg; Cahill offside.
[2-2] Ashley Young 90+1 90:09
 6-yard chip over Stekelenburg from a Jones lay-off after a Walcott pass
[0-1] Arjen Robben 57 56:26
 picked up the ball in his own half then right-footed shot from 18-yds low past Hart
[0-2] Klaas-Jan Huntelaar header 58 57:56
 beat Smalling to head in from 6 yards over Hart from a Kuijt cross

[2-3] Arjen Robben 90+2 91:36
right-footed curling shot into top left corner following a van Bommel lay-off
Match Summary

Micah Richards 47 46:03
Joris Mathijsen
Commentator: Clive Tyldesley with Andy Townsend

Match Summary

Officials from Germany

England Squad


    Netherlands Squad
Referee (blue) - Dr. Felix Brych
36 (3 August 1975), München, FIFA-listed 2007.

Assistant Referees - Thorsten Schiffner
, 36 (14 May 1975), Konstanz, and Mark Borsch, 34 (16 March 1977), Mönchengladbach.
Fourth official - Michael Oliver,
27 (20 February 1985), Ashington, England.

Teams presented to David Bernstein, the FA Chairman, and his Dutch counterpart.
8 Goal Attempts 8
4 Attempts on Target 5
0 Hit Bar/Post 0
6 Corner Kicks Won 4
2 Offside Calls Against 0
11 Fouls Conceded 15
49.2% Possession 50.8%

England Team



FIFA (15 February 2012) 5th
EFO ranking Group 3
ELO rating 6th
Colours: The 2012 home uniform - White v-neck collared jerseys with red piping on collar, white shorts with red trim, white socks with two-tone red hoop.
Capt: Scott Parker
(only captaincy)
Caretaker Manager: Stuart Pearce, 49 (24 April 1962), appointed caretaker 9 February 2012,
only match, W 0 - D 0 - L 1 - F 2 - A 3.
England Lineup
1 Hart, C. Joseph J. 24
316 days
19 April 1987 G Manchester City FC 17 11ᵍᵃ
first defeat (W12 D4)
2 Richards, Micah L. 23
250 days
24 June 1988 RB
Manchester City FC
13 1
47th min. for a studs-up foul on Arjen Robben final app 2006-12
3 Baines, Leighton J. 27
80 days
11 December 1984 LB Everton FC 7 0
first defeat (W4 D2)
4 Barry, Gareth, off 46th min. 31
6 days
23 February 1981 LM Manchester City FC 52 2
5 Smalling, Christopher L., off injured 64th min 22
99 days
22 November 1989 CD Manchester United FC 3 0
6 Cahill, Gary J. 26
72 days
19 December 1985 CD Chelsea FC 8 2
the 43rd Chelsea player to represent England first defeat (W5 D2)
7 Young, Ashley S. 26
235 days
9 July 1985 DM Manchester United FC 19 5
8 Parker, Scott M. 31
139 days
13 October 1980 RM Tottenham Hotspur FC 11 0
9 Welbeck, Daniel N.T.M., off 80th min. 21
95 days
26 November 1990 CF Manchester United FC 4 0
10 Gerrard, Steven G., off 33rd min. 31
275 days
30 May 1980 AM Liverpool FC 90 19
the ninth player to reach this milestone
11 Johnson, Adam, off 61st min 24
230 days
14 July 1987 DM Manchester City FC 10 2
England Substitutes
20 Sturridge, Daniel A., on 33rd min (32:25) for Gerrard, off 88th min. 22
181 days
1 September 1989 AM Chelsea FC 2 0        0
16 Milner, James P., on 46th min. for Barry 26
56 days
4 January 1986 LM Manchester City FC 24 13        0
scoreline: England 0 Netherlands 2
18 Downing, Stewart, on 61st min for Johnson 27
222 days
22 July 1984 DM Liverpool FC 33 13        0
14 Jones, Philip A., on 64th min (63:22) for Smalling 20
8 days
21 February 1992 CD Manchester United FC 4 3        0
  19 Campbell, Fraizer L., on 80th min (79:04) for Welbeck 24
169 days
13 September 1987 CF Sunderland AFC 1 0
1180 the 28th Sunderland player to represent England only app 2012
scoreline: England 1 Netherlands 2
17 Walcott, Theo J., on 88th min (87:35) for Sturridge 22
350 days
16 March 1989 AM Arsenal FC 22 19        3
result: England 2 Netherlands 3
unused substitutes: 12-Ashley Cole, 13-Robert Green, 15-Joleon Lescott, 21-Scott Carson.
National Stadium records: Gareth Barry has now played in 24 of England's 28 home matches at the new National Stadium. He is three ahead of Steven Gerrard. Who, in turn, is three ahead of Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole.
Gary Cahill was the twentieth different goalscorer at the National Stadium.
Fraizer Campbell is the twentieth player whose England debut was at the National Stadium (four started, sixteen were substitutes).
Acting manager Stuart Pearce played for England against the Netherlands in the 1990 World Cup Finals group match, and also in the 1996 European Championship Finals group match.
4-2-3-1 Hart -
Richards, Smalling
(Jones), Cahill, Baines -
(Downing), Young -
Parker, Gerrard
(Sturridge (Walcott)), Barry (Milner)  -
Averages (Starting XI): Age 26 years 164 days Appearances/Goals 21.3 2.6


Netherlands Team



FIFA (15 February 2012) 3rd
EFO ranking Group 2
ELO rating 3rd to 2nd
Colours: Made by Nike - Black crew neck jerseys with orange panel on right shoulder, black shorts, black socks.
Capt: Mark van Bommel
(eleventh captaincy)
Manager: Lambertus van Marwijk, 59 (19 May 1952), appointed 4 March 2008, took post 1 August 2008.
46th match, W 32 - D - 10 - L 4 - F 100 - A 35.
Netherlands Lineup
1 Stekelenburg, Maarten 29
160 days
22 September 1982 G AS Roma, Italy 45 29ᵍᵃ
2 Boulahrouz, Khalid, off 82nd min. 30
63 days
28 December 1981 RB VfB Stuttgart 1893, Germany 35 0
3 Heitinga, John G.A. 28
106 days
15 November 1983 CD Everton FC, England 75 7
4 Mathijsen, Joris 31
330 days
5 April 1980 CD Málaga CF, Spain 79 3
Mathijsen is cautioned in the 74th minute for unsporting behaviour after a challenge from behind on Ashley Young.
5 Pieters, Erik, off 46th min. 23
206 days
7 August 1988 LB Philips Sport Vereniging 15 0
6 van Bommel, Mark P.G.A. 34
313 days
22 April 1977 DM AC Milan, Italy 74 10
7 Kuijt, Dirk 31
222 days
22 July 1980 RM Liverpoool FC, England 85 24
8 de Jong, Nigel 27
91 days
30 November 1984 DM Manchester City FC, England 57 1
9 van Persie, Robin, off 46th min. 28
207 days
6 August 1983 CF Arsenal FC, England 62 25
10 Sneijder, Wesley, off 76th min 27
265 days
9 June 1984 AM FC Internazionale Milano, Italy 81 23
Robben, Arjen 28
47 days
23 January 1984 LM FC Bayern München, Germany 54 17
Netherlands Substitutes
17 Huntelaar, D. Jan Klaas, on 46th min., for van Persie, off injured 62nd min. 28
201 days
12 August 1983 CF FC Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04, Germany 50 31
15 Schaars, Stefanus Johannes, on 46th min. for Pieters 28
59 days
11 January 1984 LB Sporting Clube de Portugal, Portugal 16 0
scoreline: England 0 Netherlands 2
19 de Jong, Luuk, on 62nd min (61:18) for Huntelaar 21
186 days
27 August 1990
in Aigle, Switzerland
CF FC Twente 7 1
12 Emanuelson, Urby V.D., on 76th min (75:52) for Sneijder 25
258 days
16 June 1986 DM AC Milan, Italy 15 0
13 Vlaar, Ron P., on 82nd min (81:48) for Boulahrouz 27
13 days
16 February 1985 RB Feyenoord Rotterdam 5 0
result: England 2 Netherlands 3
unused substitutes: 14-Kevin Strootman, 16-Tim Krul, 18-Georginio Wijnaldum, 20-Jeffrey Bruma, 21-Ola John, 22-Luciano Narsingh.
4-2-3-1 Stekelenburg -
(Vlaar), Heitinga, Mathijsen, Pieters (Schaars) -
van Bommel,
N.de Jong -
Kuijt, Sneijder
(Emanuelson), Robben -
Van Persie
(Huntelaar (L.de Jong)).
Averages (Starting XI): Age 29 years 87 days Appearances/Goals 60.2 9.8

    Match Report by Mike Payne

First things first, I loved the new strip, much better than the awful white and blue of last year!  As for the match, it wasn't a bad game actually.  A new man at the helm, lots of young footballers picked in the team, and under a new captain too.  In the end there was some promise and much to think about.

The visit of the Netherlands would give this new look England set-up a stern test and almost all of their big stars were present at Wembley.  In fact they looked positively buoyant to be back at the home of football, anden more determined to gain a victory.  This made it doubly difficult for 'Pearce's Puppies' as there were some very experienced international players in the Dutch ranks, and no little amount of skill.  Although there was a slightly nervous start from England the opening salvoes saw both teams good going forward but a little less clever at the back.  There were chances at both ends in a first-half that was high on effort but with little pattern developing.  Gary Cahill headed just over from a corner and then a Pieters' cross to the far post had Joe Hart flapping a little.  Danny Welbeck was full of running but lacked a decent pass from his midfield, and any meaningful support.  New skipper Scott Parker busied himself in the middle and also made some superb blocks to stifle Dutch attacks.  He was also always on hand to receive a pass from his teammates.

Holland did step up the pace at times and Arjen Robben, the star of the night for the visitors, was a constant thorn to England.  He has had a poor season for his club this year but on the night he revelled at being back in England, and in the atmosphere of Wembley, and showed all his qualities.  On 13 minutes his angled shot was well blocked by Hart, but it was a warning of things to come.  It was alarming to see how much space England afforded Holland at times and only desperate defending blocked a Robin Van Persie shot.

In the 25th minute England created a good chance of their own, when Adam Johnson made a very positive run into the area.  He twisted and turned and his final goalbound shot deflected off John Heitinga to go just wide.  From the corner England had two more near misses and then good play between Johnson and Micah Richards ended with a Gareth Barry shot also being blocked.  It had been a good little spell from England and some of the Dutch defending was rather desperate.

Richards was looking strong on his return to the side, but there was a blow for England when Steven Gerrard went off and had to be substituted by Daniel Sturridge.  The Chelsea man was soon in the game and Parker sent him away down the right and the forward did brilliantly to put in a low centre which was begging to be put away.  Alas, not for the first, or last, time on the night, England's inexperience showed in that there was no one close enough to take advantage.  England still tried to press forward though and on 41 minutes Ashley Young finally made a telling contribution with a fine cross into the middle.  Again the chance was lost as both Chris Smalling and Richards missed the ball.  Young then headed over in another attack but the half ended goalless.

An early yellow card for Richards for a foul on Robben was the first incident of note after the restart although on 47 minutes a terrific effort by Sturridge almost broke the deadlock.  His quick, low shot brought a fine diving save out of Martin Stekelenburg, who pushed the ball round a post.  At this point of the match England had had their fair share of the match but you always felt Holland were very dangerous when going forward and there was another warning when substitute Huntelaar, on as sub for Van Persie, shot inches wide from a 53rd minute attack.  Then, three minutes later came a significant turning point.

Robben picked up a deflection well inside his own half and then proceeded to run at the back-peddling home defenders.  The pace and control of the Bayern Munich player set alarm bells ringing as several England players were caught out of position.  Huntelaar cleverly took Smalling away from the middle and Robben was able to sway onto his favoured left foot and drive an unstoppable shot past Hart.  It was a superb goal.

If that was a blow for England then almost immediately it was 2-0.  The ball was fed to Dirk Kuyt out on the right and he had all the time in the world to measure a perfect cross onto the head of the impressive Huntelaar, and again Hart had no chance.  As the striker scored there was a sickening clash of heads with Smalling and both players had to go off injured, Smalling, more worryingly, on a stretcher.  It was a bitter period for England and they were visibly shaken by all that had happened in that two minute spell.

Phil Jones came on for Smalling and Stewart Downing replaced Johnson.  In fact with his first touch Downing almost scored, but his excellent volley went wide of the far post.  Richards moved into the middle with Jones at right-back as Stuart Pearce shuffled his troops.  But Holland were controlling the play now and Robben was using all his experience to draw fouls from the young England side, as well as keeping Hart on his toes everytime he got close to goal.  Richards blocked one Robben shot as England desperately held on.

The home side were not quite out of it though and Sturridge missed a glorious chance when Leighton Baines popped up in the box to shoot across goal.  Sturridge couldn't quite adjust his feet to side-foot into an open goal from close range.

With around six minutes left Welbeck, who had run himself to a standstill, was replaced by debutant Frazer Campbell and a minute later England came back into it.  Baines found Cahill standing all alone in the centre-forward position, and the big defender showed some great footwork to beat a defender and shoot under Stekelenburg's diving body.  It was a gift from the Gods, especially as there was a slight suspicion of offside against Cahill.  But England were to take full advantage and right on 90 minutes they conjured up a superb equaliser.  Parker, sub Theo Walcott and Jones combined brilliantly, and Jones's pass to Young gave the Manchester United the chance to clip the ball over the diving keeper.  It was a magnificent finish and seemed to set England up for an unlikely result.  But unfortunately that man Robben had not finished his night's work.

Some naïve defending gave Robben time and space and although his curling shot took a wicked deflection off Cahill to beat the unfortunate Hart, it was probably no less than Holland deserved for their lively attacking play.

It was another bitter blow for England though, especially as they had done so well to come back from an impossible position.  Several home players can be pleased with their performance but as one of the pundits said, the game has probably raised more questions for England than answers.  The months ahead should be quite interesting.

Source Notes

BBC Sport

Mike Payne - football historian and contributor