Netherlands were far from their best in Amsterdam but they have beaten Wales 2-0 in the final friendly before the World Cup kicks off.

  • By Michael Bell
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van pe van gaaAfter the jaded 1-0 win over Ghana last week, many were expecting a much more convincing victory for Netherlands against a Wales side missing Gareth Bale, and giving debuts to a number of youngsters.

However the Dutch struggled to open the scoring, with Robin van Persie shooting straight at Wayne Hennessy before Arjen Robben’s shot was diverted over the bar with the goal gaping. Wales put pressure on the Netherlands back line the more the first half went on, but could not threaten despite earning a number of corners.

Finally after 32 minutes Netherlands broke the deadlock as Robin van Persie drove into the box, and when his shot was spilled by Hennessey, Robben smashed in the rebound.

Robin van Persie limped off at half time, with a slight injury, and it was his replacement Jeremain Lens who eventually made it 2-0 on 76 minutes after a low tempo start to the 2nd half. Wales nearly pulled a goal back before the end, but a fantastic last ditch tackle from Ron Vlaar prevented the lively George Williams.

Louis van Gaal stated earlier in the week that it was results, and not performances that matter, but he must admit that his side were poor tonight. Like against Ghana, Netherlands enjoyed the lion share of possession in the opposition half, but the final pass or cross let them down on numerous occasions.

A significant improvement will be needed next week when Netherlands line up against Spain in Brazil.




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