Netherlands see off Wales

Arjen Robben scored one and laid on another as Holland wrapped up their World Cup preparations with a 2-0 friendly win over stubborn Wales in Amsterdam.

Last Updated: 04/06/14 at 23:13 Post Comment

Jeremain Lens and Arjen Robben: Celebrate second goal

Jeremain Lens and Arjen Robben: Celebrate second goal

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Louis van Gaal's side won the game comfortably enough with goals from Robben and Jeremain Lens, but under-strength Wales proved worthy opponents and frustrated them for large spells.

Much had been made the absence of star Welsh names such as Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Ashley Williams but Chris Coleman's men, well led by Liverpool's Joe Allen, gave a good account of themselves.

They will now look forward to the start of Euro 2016 qualifying with some optimism.

For Holland the concerns are more immediate.

Their next game will be against world champions Spain in Salvador on June 13 and Robin van Persie, who played just 45 minutes, is key to their hopes.

He had looked lively prior to his early withdrawal, against a Wales defence in which Hull's James Chester was handed his first cap.

Wales manager Chris Coleman had promised to get at the Dutch from the outset but, predictably, it was the hosts who made the better start.

Robben fired over with just over a minute gone and then Van Persie weaved through some poor tackling to test Wayne Hennessey with a shot.

Robben then broke away from Danny Gabbidon before dragging another shot wide.

Yet Wales were not intimidated and did show some nice movement with Allen almost releasing Jonathan Williams with a good through ball.

Simon Church also whipped in a dangerous cross from the left which Bruno Martins Indi cleared unconvincingly over his own bar.

That appeared to dampen the party-like atmosphere but the crowd soon sparked back into life when Robben combined with Sneijder to create a shooting chance but Gabbidon managed to block.

Robben went close again when another effort was deflected narrowly wide by Joe Ledley.

Robben eventually got his goal after 32 minutes, finishing emphatically on the rebound after Hennessey had saved with his feet from Van Persie.

Van Persie was unlucky again when he showed great technique to shoot first time from a Daryl Janmaat cut-back but it drifted wide. That proved his final notable contribution.

Jonathan Williams wriggled into the box early in the second half but his cross was easily cut out.

Lens smashed a shot against the post for Holland but the referee had already blown for a foul on Chester.

Wales continued to give a good account of themselves and Cillessen needed to be alert to deny substitute Jermaine Easter.

Fulham youngster George Williams - called into the squad after Bale withdrew last week - was given a chance after 70 minutes and made an immediate impression with a good run into the box.

Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar got back to deny him with a well-timed challenge.

Holland doubled their lead after 76 minutes when Robben broke clear down the right and pulled the ball back for Lens, who could not miss from close range.

Yet Wales continued to make life difficult for the hosts as they denied them space and George Williams threatened with another good run before the final whistle.

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S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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