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Wednesday 29 February 2012

England fightback thwarted by Dutch

Stuart Pearce's side fight back from 2-0 down, but Robben wins it late on

Former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben fires the Netherlands in front against England

England 2-3 Netherlands

England produced a thrilling fightback against World Cup finalists Netherlands at Wembley only for the Dutch to win the friendly in injury time.

The visitors had taken a 2-0 lead before England pegged them back in the final six minutes, but deep into stoppage time Arjen Robben saw his shot deflected into the England net to win it.

Stuart Pearce took charge of England for the first time after Fabio Capello resigned earlier this month, the 49-year-old handing the captaincy to Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Scott Parker.

England went close twice in the first half when Manchester City's Adam Johnson had a shot deflected wide and then Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge saw his left-foot shot saved by Martin Stekelenburg.

But the 2010 World Cup runners-up went in front thanks to a moment of individual brilliance from former Chelsea winger Robben, who ran from inside his own half and fired past Hart from the edge of the box.

Less than two minutes later it was 2-0, as Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt sent over a superb cross from the right for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to head into the England net.

England, who handed a debut to Sunderland's Fraizer Campbell, had plenty of chances of their own, with Stewart Downing volleying wide and the impressive Sturridge shooting straight at Stekelenburg.

Chelsea's Gary Cahill kept his cool to slot home in the closing stages, and then Manchester United's Ashley Young expertly chipped over the advancing Stekelenburg to equalise.

But Bert van Marwijk's Dutch side had the last laugh as Robben cut in from the right and saw his shot hit Cahill before looping over Hart and in.

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Key Points

  • England come from 2-0 down before losing to Dutch
  • Robben & Huntelaar give Netherlands 2-0 lead
  • Cahill & Young make it 2-2 before Robben scores the winner in injury time