Netherlands 2 - 0 Wales
- Robben and Lens net for the Dutch
- Chester, Dummett and Williams debut for Wales
- Allen captains Wales for the first time
- Van Gaal’s last home international in charge of Holland
The Netherlands set sail for Brazil with a comfortable if boring win over a depleted Wales team.
Arjen Robben opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, finishing sharply with a first-time effort after Wayne Hennessey stuck a big knee in the way of Robin Van Persie’s near-post blooter.
The baldy right-wing jink-master then created the second with a cross for Jeremain Lens, who tapped in from close range on 76 minutes.
And that was about it save for around 500 substitutions. Chances were pretty sparse for Wales - Charlton Athletic’s finest Simon Church was on his own up top after all - but substitute George Williams’ slaloming run into the box, beating three defenders as he did so, was a highlight. Sadly Ron Vlaar had to get in the way to spoil what could have been a memorable debut goal for the Fulham youngster.
There was always a risk that Wales would be lambs to the slaughter in this fixture what with the absence of stellar talents Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey plus the first choice centre-back pairing of Ashley Williams and James Collins, but Wales frustrated the Netherlands and their fans for large parts of the game.
A loss is a loss is a loss but Wales manager Chris Coleman can take heart from a decent performance against the 2010 World Cup finalists and it was a good workout from some of the fringe players in the squad ahead of the 2016 Euro Qualifiers in the autumn.
Wales’ next game is away in Andorra on Tuesday 9th September 2014, the first game in the qualification campaign, which should be slightly easier than Holland away.
Talking of the minnows of European football, did you see the excellent throw-in by one of Luxembourg’s players last night?
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