Netherlands U21’s nearly surrendered a three goal lead, but held on to beat Costa Rica 3-2 and get off to a winning start in the Toulon Tournament.

  • By Michael Bell
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ned u21Jong Oranje got off to a flying start when Ajax star Anwar El Ghazi raced through the defence before firing Netherlands ahead after only three minutes, and it was 2-0 moments later when a free kick was tapped in from close range by PSVs Rai Vloet.

Just after the half hour mark Vloet took advantage of some more poor defending from Costa Rica to add a third and it seemed Netherlands were cruising to victory, but before the break David Ramirez reduced the arrears to 3-1 with a glancing header.

AZ Alkmaar defender Derrick Luckassen headed against the post early in the second half, but it was Costa Rica who took charge and they deservedly netted a second when Ramirez curled past Timo Plattel. Costa Rica pushed for the equaliser, but Netherlands survived some nervous moments to hold on for the win.

On Friday Netherlands will play their second game of the tournament against the United States.

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