It's certainly not dull following England! Who would have thought after the November friendlies that England would be starting their first game of 2012 without Fabio Capello? The Italian resigned earlier this month after the FA stripped John Terry of the England captaincy. This came after a court case involving John Terry was pushed back July 2012. Capello did not agree that the player should be punished before hearing the outcome of the court case. England now have to move forward and find a new manager. In the meantime, Stuart Pearce has been appointed as England's temporary manager, and skippering the side for this match was Scott Parker. Going into this game, England were without the services of Darren Bent, who was injured, and Wayne Rooney due to a throat infection. Pearce handed Frazier Campbell his international debut late in this match, and Steven Gerrard returned to the team for the first time since November 2010.
England could have taken an early lead following Ashley Young's corner which Gary Cahill headed goalwards at the near post. Unfortunately the ball missed the target and went over the crossbar. Adam Johnson had England's best chance to score in the first half when he ran at the Dutch defenders, his long shot narrowly missed the net, going wide of the far post. There was a worrying moment in the 33rd minute when Gerrard left the pitch with an injury, he was replaced by Daniel Sturridge. It was later revealed that Gerrard was taken off the pitch as a precaution due to a tight hamstring.
It was Sturridge who, in the second half, hit the ball well from an England corner, but Stekelenburg reacted well and saved the shot. Huntelaar, on for Van Persie, had a good long-range shot which went wide of Hart's net. Then, within two minutes Holland took the lead with two goals. Picking up the ball in his own half, Robben, raced through midfield to score a lovely goal. Then Huntelaar rose high to meet a cross to put the ball into England's net. With the goal came the need to substitute both Huntelaar and Smalling who clashed heads as they challenged for the ball.
Stuart Downing was unlucky not to pull a goal back for the hosts, and at the other end of the field, Robben tried his luck again, but Richards averted danger. England did score in the 85th minute thanks to Gary Cahill whose low shot went under Stekelenburg's body. Into injury time Ashley Young scored after a lovely build-up involving a number of England players. The Manchester United player had the final touch, lifting the ball over the Dutch goalkeeper to level the score. Undeterred by the fact the game was into stoppage time, Holland weren't finished and two minutes into injury time, who else but Robben, punished the England defenders with a lovely goal which sailed into the corner.
Hart #1, Cahill #6, Smalling #5 (Jones 64 mins - #14), Baines #3, Richards #2, Barry #4 (Milner 46 mins - #16), Parker #8 - Captain, A Young #7, A Johnson #11 (Downing 64 mins - #18), Welbeck #9 (Campbell 80 mins - #19), Gerrard #10 (Sturridge 33 mins - #20 (Walcott 88 mins - #17)).
Subs Not Used: Green #13, A Cole #12, Lescott #15, Carson #21. (Full Squad)
Stekelenburg #1, Mathijsen #4, Heitinga #3, Pieters #5 (Schaars 46 mins - #15), Boulahrouz #2 (Vlaar 82 mins - #13), N De Jong #8, Van Bommel #6, Robben #11, Kuyt #7, Van Persie #9 (Huntelaar 46 mins - #17 (L de Jong 64 mins - #19)), Sneijder #10 (Emanuelson 76 mins - #12).
Subs Not Used: Krul #16, Strootman #14, Wijnaldum #18, Bruma #20, John #21, Narsingh #22.
England Goals: Cahill (85 mins), A Young (90+1 mins)
Holland Goals: Robben (57 & 90+2 mins), Huntelaar (58 mins)
England Caution: Richards
Holland Caution: Mathijsen
Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)