England were playing the first competitive match since the resignation of Fabio Capello.
They were expected to struggle in the match against Netherlands, but the England players coped with the pace and attack of the Dutch pretty well.
However, they could not prevent former Chelsea striker Arjen Robben from opening the scoring in the first half. Immediately, Ajax striker Huntelaar soon gave the Netherlands a two-goal lead going into the second half. It looked like England were going to suffer their first defeat after a long time. England goalkeeper Joe Hart was playing in his 17 competitive match for England without suffering a defeat.
In the second half, England proved that they can be more than a match for Netherlands after the Chelsea signing Gary Cahill secured the first goal for the English.
It opened the confidence within the team and soon they found themselves level with the Dutch after Ashley Young popped up to score the second goal for England. However, the equaliser for England was marred by a number of injury problems to both Chris Smalling and Steven Gerrard. They had to be taken off, but the replacements proved that they can be more than a substitute by performing admirably.
However, Arjen Robben’s late winner gave Netherlands a victory in the friendly match.
“There were some decent individual performances and there’s a few players who will be going away believing that they have done their chances of making the squad no harm whatsoever. But what have we really learned from that 90 minutes? It’s fair to say that the Netherlands didn’t always play with a high tempo yet you could still see the quality that they possessed,” BBC sport summariser Graham Taylor said after the match.
England caretaker manager Stuart Pearce announced after the match that he is not willing to take the job on a permanent basis.