The 126th meeting of Netherlands and Belgium ended in a 1-1 draw at the Amsterdam Arena. 

lens-vertonDanny Blind’s squad was hit by several injury drop-outs prior to the tie against Belgium, and the coach now heads into the crucial World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg with more potential casualties. Stijn Schaars, making his first national team appearance since 2014, lasted only 15 minutes before succumbing to a calf injury, Vincent Janssen was forced off with suspected concussion after a clash with Simon Mignolet, and Jeremain Lens pulled up with a hamstring problem in the second half.

Despite the injuries, Netherlands managed to hold the number four in the world to a draw despite Belgium dominating possession for most of the match.

The visitors struggled to break down the Dutch defence in the first half and it was Netherlands who headed into half-time ahead through a Davy Klaassen penalty after Jan Vertonghen fouled Jeremain Lens.

Debutante Joshua Brenet nearly made it 2-0 in the second half but after a strong run past two challenges the PSV full-back fired just wide. Belgium boss Roberto Martinez threw on Romelu Lukaku as they went in search of the equaliser, but the Everton striker skied a brilliant opportunity over the bar from a few yards out.

Netherlands defence looked like it was going to hold on, but Yannick Carrasco earned Belgium a draw with a strike that hit Joel Veltman and looped over Stekelenburg. Eden Hazard nearly won it late on for Belgium but he was denied by Stekelenburg.

Netherlands now have four days to prepare for the must-win game against Luxembourg. Blind will be worried about his injury-hit squad but will be boosted by the addition of Arjen Robben, who sat out the Belgium match.

 




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