May 20, 2013
England fightback in vain as Robben grabs winner
A stoppage-time winner from Arjen Robben gave Netherlands a 3-2 win over England in an ultimately thrilling friendly at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday.
England appeared to have done enough to escape with a draw after trailing 2-0 to two superbly-taken goals in two minutes from Robben and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
Gary Cahill and Ashley Young replied for an experimental and young England in the last six minutes before Robben struck with an even later goal which he curled past goalkeeper Joe Hart with the aid of a slight deflection.
Robben broke the deadlock in the 57th minute when he ran from 15 metres inside his own half, motoring past a helpless England midfield pulled out of position by Huntelaar's decoy run to fire wide of Hart.
Almost immediately Huntelaar made it 2-0 when he converted a Dirk Kuyt cross with a powerful header into the roof of the net before clashing heads with defender Chris Smalling, prompting a lengthy delay during which both men were substituted.
Huntelaar walked off while Smalling was carried away on a stretcher.
The narrow win, in Stuart Pearce's first and possibly only match in charge of the England team, owed much to the greater experience and team work of the Dutch side who inflicted England's first defeat in 10 matches since they lost a friendly at home to France in November 2010.