Netherlands lost for the first time since 2012 as they were simply outclassed by France in a 2-0 defeat in Paris.

  • By Michael Bell
  • Follow Michael on Twitter

benzema dkfStraight from the kick off in the Stade de France, the home side were on top, closing down the Dutch at every opportunity, and forcing mistakes with their pressure high up the pitch.

France should have been ahead just after 10 minutes, when Karim Benzema headed towards goal from six yards, luckily for Netherlands Ron Vlaar was on the line to clear.

Netherlands best opportunity in the first half hour fell to Robin van Persie, who’s volley from inside the box was punched away by Hugo Lloris, and the rebound was fired over by Vlaar.

Then on 32 minutes the first goal came, as an angled ball found Karim Benzema on the right hand side of the box, and the in form Real Madrid striker smashed the ball through Jasper Cillessen.

Before half time it was 2-0, as a swift counter attack ended with Mathieu Valbuena sending over a cross for Blaise Matuidi to acrobatically back heel the ball past Cillessen at the back post.

The second half saw substitutions take the momentum out of the game, and chances were few and far between. French defender Raphael Varane should have made it 3-0 before the end, but his free header could not beat Cillessen.

Overall a disappointing way for the Dutch to lose their unbeaten record, and if not for poor finishing by France it could have been much worse for Louis van Gaals side. With less than 100 days until the World Cup starts, the Dutch coach has a lot to contemplate before the Oranje face Spain in Brazil.

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