Ahead of England v Netherlands on Tuesday, Michael Bell takes a look back at five previous meetings between the two nations.

vm basten v englandEngland 0-2 Netherlands (1977 friendly)

As Wembley prepares to say farewell to Johan Cruyff on Tuesday it is only fitting that we start our look back at classic meetings between the two nations with one of the few time’s that the Dutch Maestro lit up the London stadium.

Three years after Netherlands dazzled at the 1974 World Cup, the Oranje traveled to England for a glamour friendly in preparation for the 78 World Cup in Argentina under new boss Jan Zwartkruis. Cruyff, Johan Neeskens, Ruud Krol, and Johnny Rep all started the game, but it was NEC midfielder Jan Peters who stole the show with his first two international goals.

The victory was Netherlands first over England, and the Three lions boss Don Revie was left in amazement from what he saw from the Oranje. He said on the defeat, “Holland were magnificent, the best international performance at Wembley since the Hungarians in 1953. They taught us a lesson. They showed us tonight how far we’ve got to go.”

England 1-3 Netherlands (Euro 88)

One of the most crucial games in Dutch football history, Netherlands went into the game with England on the back of a shock 1-0 defeat to the Soviet Union, and another loss would have seen them all but eliminated from the tournament in Germany.

Step forward Marco van Basten, who had started on the bench for the tournament opener due to fitness issues, but returned to the starting line-up against England. The AC Milan striker netted a stunning opener on 44 minutes, controlling Ruud Gullit’s cross before spinning past his marker and emphatically firing into the net.

Bryan Robson equalised with a great finish early in the second half, but Netherlands wouldn’t be denied as Van Basten fired in his second on 71 minutes before sealing his hat-trick from a corner three minutes later.

The victory propelled Netherlands into the next round, and gave confidence to Marco van Basten who would go on to net a stunning volley in the final against the Soviet Union as Netherlands lifted their first major trophy.

Netherlands 2-0 England (World Cup 94 qualifying)

After failing to retain their Euro trophy in 1992, Netherlands were seeded in pot two for the World Cup qualifying draw and were put in a strong looking group with England, Poland, Turkey, Norway and San Marino.

After eight matches each, including a 2-2 draw at Wembley, Netherlands and England were battling for second place as shock leaders Norway romped to the final’s. Both sides went into the tie in Rotterdam locked on 11 points, with Netherlands taking second spot due to a superior goal difference.

A win for both sides was crucial and the game was a ferocious and highly entertaining tie. After 56 minutes came the turning point as David Platt raced through on goal only to be dragged down by Ronald Koeman. A free kick was given, but the centre back was only shown a yellow card, much to the fury of England boss Graham Taylor. The free kick came to nothing and four minutes later Netherlands took the lead, though Koeman, who dinked in a free kick of his own from the edge of the England boss.

Paul Merson hit the post for England, before Dennis Bergkamp sealed victory for Netherlands with a low strike on 81 minutes. Netherlands would go on to beat Poland in their final game to seal qualification for the World Cup, while England stayed home.

England 4-1 Netherlands (Euro 96)

England would get revenge for their loss in 1993 when they hosted Euro 96 and faced the Oranje in their third and final group game.

Netherlands had been disappointing in the tournament so far, with Scotland holding Guus Hiddink’s side to a 0-0 draw before they struggled to a 2-0 win over Switzerland.

After 26 minutes, an ageing and past it Danny Blind brought down Paul Ince in the box and Alan Shearer smashed England ahead from the penalty spot. Netherlands then put the English back four under immense pressure, but couldn’t find an equaliser before the break as Aron Winter missed two great chances.

Netherlands back four then fell apart in the second half as England netted three in the space of ten minutes. Teddy Sheringham headed in a corner on 51 minutes, before Shearer hammered in from close range moments later. Sheringham then scored his second on 61 minutes when Edwin van der Sar failed to hold Darren Anderton’s shot.

Patrick Kluivert would pull one goal back on 78 minutes and Netherlands scraped through to the knockout rounds on goals scored ahead of Scotland, but would exit against France on penalties.

England 2-3 Netherlands (2012 friendly)

The last meeting between the two sides was a hugely entertaining friendly at Wembley back in 2012 as Netherlands prepared for Euro 2012.

A young England side created several chances in a goalless first half, but on 56 minutes Arjen Robben went on a brilliant run from his own half which ended with the winger finishing into the bottom corner. A minute later it was 2-0 for Netherlands as Dirk Kuyt’s cross was powerfully headed in by Klaas jan Huntelaar, although the striker was then forced off after a nasty clash of heads with Chris Smalling which left the Dutch forward eating grass.

England would mount a comeback with Gary Cahill and James Milner netting two in the space of five minutes before the end, but in injury time Robben had the last laugh with a curling strike that found the top corner.




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