herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

England given dose of reality by Dutch

England 1 Netherlands 2

England's Danny Drinkwater in action against Netherlands' Jetro Willems. Photo:
Carl Recine/Reuters
England's Danny Drinkwater in action against Netherlands' Jetro Willems. Photo: Carl Recine/Reuters
England's Harry Kane is challenged by Netherlands' Daley Blind

England fell to just their second defeat since the World Cup as Roy Hodgson's men lost to a Holland side not even good enough to reach Euro 2016.

Impressive progress has been made since the Three Lions' embarrassing exit in Brazil, including reaching this summer's finals with a 100 per cent record.

However, there was little of the intensity, drive and quality seen in Saturday's remarkable comeback win in Germany as Holland came from behind to win 2-1 at Wembley. It was a reality check after back-to-back wins over Euro 2016 favourites France and Germany, although Jamie Vardy again impressed and followed-up his wonderful flick at the Olympiastadion by finishing a lovely team move.

The in-form Leicester striker looks a shoo-in for the squad named on May 12, when Hodgson faces some difficult decisions.

England boast impressive strength in depth up front but look susceptible at the back, with John Stones' recent poor form compounded by a slip that needed Fraser Forster to come to the rescue.

However, Danny Rose was adjudged to have handled as the move continued and Vincent Janssen scored from the spot, before controversially overpowering substitute Phil Jagielka and crossing for Luciano Narsingh to net the winner.

Hodgson's anger at the goal was as clear as the players' but the England manager will no doubt focus on positives such as Vardy's display and a solid debut from Leicester team-mate Danny Drinkwater.

The midfielder was one of eight changes and that appeared to impact the defensive coherence.

Focus in the early part of the first half turned to the big screens in Wembley as the late Johan Cruyff's image was met by a standing ovation in the 14th minute, having earlier been remembered in a minute's silence that also paid tribute to those caught in the Brussels terror attacks.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News