AMSTERDAM: England ended a 22-year win drought against the Netherlands thanks to Jesse Lingard’s strike for a 1-0 triumph after a performance of composure and quality in a friendly on Friday.
Gareth Southgate’s World Cup-bound England side were superior for much of the match, organised and in control even before Manchester United midfielder Lingard’s 59th minute goal secured their first win over the Dutch since Euro ’96.
The Netherlands, still smarting from missing out on this year’s finals in Russia after a second straight failure to qualify for a major championship, were left with little to cheer at the start of reconstruction under new manager Ronald Koeman.
The home side got lucky soon after halftime when a clear foul on Marcus Rashford in the penalty area was waved away.
But the visitors were soon rewarded for their control and some neat passing movements when a loose ball fell to Lingard, who swept it home with a clinical right-foot finish from just outside the box for his first senior international goal.
The result and, more importantly, the assured performances from some of Southgate’s supposed fringe players was bound to give encouragement to the England boss, who was in the team that last beat the Netherlands 4-1 at Wembley in 1996.
England also had not won in Amsterdam since 1969.
Southgate has one more friendly match against Italy on Tuesday before he finalises his squad for Russia.