England 2 Netherlands 3
England 2 Netherlands 3, Wembley Stadium, International Friendly Match, February 29, 2012. On the 9th of February 1977, the Netherlands handed England a lesson in clinical finishing as they ran out 2-0 winners in the international friendly encounter at Wembley courtesy of two first half goals by NEC Nijmegen winger Jan Peters. Then, on the 29th of February 2012, football history repeated itself with The Flying Dutchmen triumphant yet again.
The Three Lions started brightly and could have taken an early lead when a dangerous header from Chelsea´s Gary Cahill narrowly flew over the crossbar. But as the first half progressed, the match slowed down with both sides playing the ball in the middle of the park and not many scoring chances created. Then, in the 56th minute of the contest, Bayern Munich flanker Arjen Robben picked up the ball inside his own half before running the length of the pitch to score the opening goal. And just one minute later, Bert van Marwijk´s Holland scored again as Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar headed home a magnificent cross ball from Dirk Kuyt. England finally managed to find the target in the 85 minute when a long through ball from Everton left back Leighton Baines found fellow Cahill who slotted into the bottom corner of the net to give the home players some hope. There was more to come only five minutes later when Manchester United winger Ashley Young collected a fine pass from Old Trafford teammate Phil Jones and lifted the ball over Holland netminder Maarten Stekelenburg to make the score 2-2. But then, in stoppage time, Holland eventually gave Stuart Pearce´s men the coup de grace when Robben beat Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart with a curling shot from inside the penalty box. England Team: Joe Hart, Micah Richards, Chris Smalling, Gary Cahill, Gareth Barry, Ashley Young, Leighton Baines, Steven Gerrard, Adam Johnson, Scott Parker, Danny Welbeck. Substitutes: Scott Carson, Robert Green, Joleon Lescott, Phil Jones, James Milner, Ashley Cole, Stewart Downing, Theo Walcott, Fraizer Campbell, Daniel Sturridge. Nethrlands Team: Maarten Stekelenburg, Khalid Boulahrouz, Johnny Heitinga, Joris Mathijsen, Erik Pieters, Nigel de Jong, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Mark van Bommel, Dirk Kuyt, Robin van Persie. Substitutes: Tim Krul, Jeffrey Bruma, Ron Vlaar, Giliano Wijnaldum, Urby Emanuelson, Ola John, Stijn Schaars, Kevin Strootman, Luciano Narsingh, Luuk de Jong, Klaas Jan Huntelaar.
Ashley Young Quickfacts
Ashley Young was given his international debut for England when he came on as a half-time substitute in a 1-0 international friendly win against Austria at Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna on the 16th of November 2007. Young made his first start for his homeland in a 2-2 Euro 2012 Qualifier draw with Montenegro at Podgorica City Stadium on the 12th of October 2010, and scored his first international goal in a 2-1 friendly victory against Denmark at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen on the 9th of February 2011.