England fell to a rare home defeat to the hands of the Netherlands after suffering a 2-1 defeat inside Wembley Stadium on Tuesday, failing to build upon their promising optimism from Saturday’s win over Germany.
The surprise loss means England have now not won any of their past seven meetings with the Netherlands, drawing four.
After beating the defending world champions in Berlin over the weekend; expectations were high inside the national stadium as manager Roy Hodgson named a second string Three Lions side to face the Oranje, but after letting a one-nil lead slip in the second-half, perhaps the result signifies the hosts’ lack of strength throughout the squad.
Eventual man of the match Jamie Vardy fired England in front just moments before the interval, finishing off a lovely, slick and rapid attacking move after converting Kyle Walker’s cutback on the right flank.
The Leicester City star’s opener was the 100th goal under Hodgson’s reign, but it wasn’t to get any better for England on the night.
The Dutch, who failed to qualify for this summer’s Euro 2016 after finishing fourth in Group A, were level just five minutes into the second period after defender Danny Rose handled in the 18-yard area.
Vincent Janssen stepped up to slot the spot kick past goalkeeper Fraser Forster in the home side’s net – the first goal England had conceded in 443 minutes at Wembley – before he played another crucial contribution in a controversial match winner shortly after.
The AZ Alkmaar striker was far too strong for Three Lions centre-half Phil Jagielka; although his teammates cried out for a foul from referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz, but the official waved on as the Netherlands stuck to their task and found the winner after substitute Luciano Narsingh powerfully converted Janssen’s cross past Southampton shot stopper Forster once more with just 13 minutes left on the clock.
England’s 2-1 defeat at home to the Dutch was the final international outing before boss Hodgson is expected to name his 23-man squad, plus seven reserve members, for the 2016 UEFA European Championships which kick-off this June.
However the Three Lions still have three international friendlies to contest before their Euro 2016 opener against Russia in Marseille on June 11, with Turkey up next at Wembley on May 22, before also hosting Australia and Portugal later on.
Furthermore; there was a fitting tribute in the 14th minute of the game to the Netherlands, Ajax and FC Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff, with all 82,835 supporters inside the national stadium rising to their feet to take part in a minute’s applause for the late player who sadly passed away last Thursday.