International Friendlies

Netherlands 0-1 England

By Phil McNultyChief football writer in the Amsterdam Arena
Jesse Lingard celebrates
Jesse Lingard's goal was his first for England in nine appearances

Jesse Lingard's first international goal extended England's unbeaten run to seven games and gave them a deserved friendly victory against the Netherlands in Amsterdam.

Lingard made the decisive contribution just before the hour, arriving on the edge of the penalty area to fire low past Dutch keeper Jeroen Zoet, who got a hand to the shot but could not keep it out.

It was just reward for manager Gareth Southgate and his players after a controlled display with an experimental side, including Kyle Walker on the right side of a three-man defence.

Southgate's only complaint will be England should have made more of their domination of possession, though they should also have had a penalty when Marcus Rashford was brought down by a combination of Zoet and defender Matthijs de Ligt.

Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford had the satisfaction of keeping a second successive clean sheet for England, although there was a setback when Liverpool's Joe Gomez went off early through injury.

Despite that, the Netherlands seldom threatened in former Everton boss Ronald Koeman's first game in charge after Dick Advocaat's resignation.

Southgate's successful experiment

Southgate's team selection raised eyebrows in a defensive context - particularly his use of Walker in a three-man defence rather than in his accustomed right-back position.

But Southgate can be satisfied with how his system worked, despite the early disruption when Gomez went off.

It was a performance that must be placed in context as it came against a very poor Dutch side in an obvious period of transition, but England were solid and composed, got a lead they deserved and protected it in complete comfort.

Walker settled well into his new role, and his raw pace certainly gives Southgate another option as he finalises his defensive options for Russia.

Greater tests will lie ahead with more threat than this lame and lacklustre Netherlands but England fully merited stretching their unbeaten run since their loss to France in Paris in June 2017.

Southgate praises 'composed' England

Pickford stakes World Cup claim

Pickford was given a big opportunity to strengthen his claim to be England's first-choice keeper at the World Cup when he was given the starting place in Amsterdam.

And, despite one or two anxious moments, the Everton keeper can be happy with a clean sheet to make it no goals conceded in his two England appearances.

Pickford - signed by Koeman for £30m from Sunderland in the summer - did well to sense danger and plunge at the feet of Quincy Promes when he threatened, and also showed safe handling to save from Memphis Depay. He also snuffed out late danger with a confident claim of a cross into his area.

That said, he was uncomfortable coming for a corner that allowed Bas Dost to get in a free header in the first half and was caught in possession by the giant striker as he shaped to clear.

Pickford was, however, very comfortable with the ball at his feet on other occasions, even happy to receive the ball right on his goalline from Stones.

Whether he has advanced his cause to start in Russia even further remains to be seen as Southgate explores his options, but he certainly did his hopes no harm.

After the game, Southgate said Stoke's Jack Butland would start Tuesday's friendly against Italy.

Jordan Pickford
Jordan Pickford has kept two clean sheets in two appearances for England

Lingard shows happy goalscoring knack

Lingard has shown his ability to get a goal, many of them spectacular, at Manchester United this season.

And the 25-year-old showed his natural gift again on the hour, arriving after Danny Rose's cross was deflected out off Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to send a low 20-yard shot past Zoet.

It was just what England needed because at that stage they had no end product to back up some controlled and composed approach work.

Lingard's eye for goal will be key for Southgate's plans - before he scored, injured Tottenham captain Harry Kane had netted seven of England's previous 14 goals.

England carried plenty of threat with the pace and running of Lingard, his Manchester United team-mate Rashford and Manchester City's Raheem Sterling - but Southgate will be grateful to have another natural goalscorer to augment Kane's threat.

Big job for Koeman

Koeman is fulfilling a career ambition by coaching the Netherlands - but on this evidence he has been dealt a very tough hand.

Their standing is reflected in their failure to reach the World Cup, and this uninspired display illustrated the scale of Koeman's task as he attempts to rehabilitate Dutch football and the national team.

Virgil van Dijk is Koeman's new captain, and he will look to mix in his experience with maverick talents such as Depay and brilliant Ajax youngster Justin Kluivert.

Koeman's complete self-confidence in his ability has been on show in Amsterdam this week - and he will need every bit of it with hopes of a sporting nation resting on his shoulders.

Ronald Koeman
This was Koeman's first game in charge after he was sacked as Everton boss in October 2017

Unbeaten in Amsterdam - the best of the stats

  • This was England's first win over the Netherlands since Euro 1996, ending a run of seven meetings without a victory.
  • England are unbeaten in their past seven games (W5 D2); their longest run since between June 2014 and October 2015 under Roy Hodgson (15 games).
  • The Three Lions have not lost any of their seven games in Amsterdam (W3 D4), with their only away defeat against the Netherlands coming in Rotterdam in October 1993.
  • Lingard is the second Manchester United player to score for England under Southgate (after Rashford) - only Spurs have had more different players do so (Kane, Alli and Dier).
  • Thirteen of England's past 15 goals away from home have been scored in the second half of games.
  • England have kept five consecutive clean sheets for the first time since October 2014 (also a run of five, under Hodgson).
  • Southgate's side have now gone 537 minutes without conceding in all competitions, with their last goal conceded coming against Slovakia in September 2017.

'They played with composure' - what the boss said

England manager Gareth Southgate speaking to ITV Sport: "It was a good test for us. We came away from home and controlled the game. We used the ball really well for 60-65 minutes, maybe more quality in final third was required but we were very solid. We had some good play up to that final ball.

"The back three were excellent and the goalkeeper too, the way they were able to play from the back, they played with real composure, and played with intelligence too.

"But there are more things we went to see in the Italy game and work on."

Man of the match - Kyle Walker

Kyle Walker
Kyle Walker was very comfortable in that unfamiliar role on the right side of defence and his pace is a real asset for Gareth Southgate

What's next?

England host Italy at Wembley in Tuesday's friendly (20:00 BST) as they continue their preparations for the World Cup.

The Netherlands travel to Portugal on Monday to take on the European champions (19:30 BST).



Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Zoet
  • 3de Ligt
  • 6de VrijSubstituted forWeghorstat 89'minutes
  • 4van Dijk
  • 2Hateboer
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 8StrootmanSubstituted forvan de Beekat 90'minutes
  • 11van Aanholt
  • 7PromesSubstituted forPröpperat 66'minutes
  • 9DostSubstituted forBabelat 66'minutes
  • 10Depay


  • 12Til
  • 13Cillessen
  • 14Aké
  • 15van de Beek
  • 16de Roon
  • 17Berghuis
  • 18Pröpper
  • 19Weghorst
  • 20Babel
  • 21Vilhena
  • 22Fosu-Mensah
  • 23Kluivert


Formation 3-1-4-2

  • 1Pickford
  • 4Walker
  • 5Stones
  • 6GomezSubstituted forMaguireat 10'minutesSubstituted forDierat 89'minutes
  • 8Henderson
  • 2Trippier
  • 7Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 11LingardSubstituted forAlliat 68'minutes
  • 3RoseSubstituted forYoungat 71'minutes
  • 9RashfordSubstituted forVardyat 68'minutes
  • 10SterlingSubstituted forWelbeckat 68'minutes


  • 12Dier
  • 13Hart
  • 14Mawson
  • 15Maguire
  • 16Tarkowski
  • 17Livermore
  • 18Young
  • 19L Cook
  • 20Alli
  • 21Vardy
  • 22Butland
  • 23Pope
  • 24Welbeck
  • 25Lallana
Jesús Gil Manzano

Match Stats

Home TeamNetherlandsAway TeamEngland
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Netherlands 0, England 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Netherlands 0, England 1.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Netherlands. Jeroen Zoet tries a through ball, but Wout Weghorst is caught offside.

  4. Post update

    John Stones (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Wout Weghorst (Netherlands).

  6. Post update

    Hand ball by Dele Alli (England).

  7. Post update

    Offside, Netherlands. Memphis Depay tries a through ball, but Matthijs de Ligt is caught offside.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Dele Alli (England).

  9. Post update

    Ryan Babel (Netherlands) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Netherlands. Donny van de Beek replaces Kevin Strootman.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, England. Eric Dier replaces Harry Maguire because of an injury.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Netherlands. Wout Weghorst replaces Stefan de Vrij.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Patrick van Aanholt (Netherlands) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Memphis Depay.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Hans Hateboer (Netherlands) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Memphis Depay.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Kieran Trippier (England) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Danny Welbeck.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Memphis Depay (Netherlands) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

  17. Post update

    Foul by John Stones (England).

  18. Post update

    Ryan Babel (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Post update

    Offside, Netherlands. Georginio Wijnaldum tries a through ball, but Patrick van Aanholt is caught offside.

  20. Post update

    Dele Alli (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.


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