Jesse Lingard's goal gives England 1-0 win over Netherlands
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 24, 2018 08:37 AM
England's Jesse Lingard, second left, celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the international friendly soccer match between the Netherlands and England at the Amsterdam ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Friday, March 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
By Mike Corder, Associated Press
AMSTERDAM (AP) — Jesse Lingard scored his first international goal as England beat the Netherlands 1-0 Friday in a friendly that proved Gareth Southgate's team can win without striker Harry Kane.
Lingard opened his England account in his ninth international, firing low into the corner past the despairing dive of Jeroen Zoet in the 59th minute after a cross from the left had rebounded to him off a Dutch defender.
It was a deserved victory for England, which looked quicker and more dangerous than the Dutch going forward, even without injured captain Kane, and solid at the back.
"I was pleased. I knew we would have pace and energy in the team but I was really, really pleased with the composure," Southgate said. "At times a little more quality in the final third was needed."
The match at the Amsterdam Arena was a World Cup tune-up for England, while it marked the start of a rebuilding process for new Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman, who took over the reins after the Dutch failed to qualify for the tournament in Russia.
"We were well organized in defense, generally didn't give away many chances, but we didn't create many either," Koeman said.
While the Netherlands was largely impotent in front of goal, Southgate showed his squad's strength when he was able to replace Lingard, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford midway through the second half with Dele Alli, Danny Welbeck and Jamie Vardy.
"We are playing England and you see the difference in quality," Koeman said.
England plays Italy on Tuesday at Wembley in its last friendly before Southgate names his World Cup squad.
With Kane missing, Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson led his team, while his club teammate Virgil van Dijk wore the Dutch captain's armband for the first time in his international career.
Southgate's starting forward lineup of Sterling and Manchester United teammates Lingard and Rashford had only four goals between them in their previous internationals and they rarely threatened to add to that tally before the break despite Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's strong runs from midfield.
Southgate said he was pleased with individual performances, but also with the fact his team looked like it was having fun.
"I think probably most pleasing (was) the players looked like they enjoyed their football tonight," he said. "They enjoyed the ball."
England suffered an early setback when Liverpool defender Joe Gomez limped off with a left ankle injury after just five minutes.
Henderson came closest to opening England's account before the break when his flicked header from a Kieran Trippier free kick drifted just wide of Zoet's far post in the 32nd minute. Five minutes later, Zoet sprinted well out of his area for a sliding tackle to deny Sterling a chance.
Bas Dost and Memphis Depay had the best Dutch chances, with Dost heading over from close range in the first half and Depay shooting straight at Pickford at the end of the first half and again late in the second half from a free kick.
Police arrested some 90 England fans before the match for public order offenses mostly around the narrow cobbled streets of Amsterdam's Red Light District and some of the England fans booed during the Dutch national anthem.
"It is not something I want to hear," Southgate said. "Our players have represented their country really well tonight, with pride and with some style, so anything else that takes away from that performance for them would be a great shame."