Netherlands haunt Spain with 2-0 friendly win

Updated: 2015-04-01 12:00


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Netherlands haunt Spain with 2-0 friendly win

Juan Bernat (C) of Spain challenges Luciano Narsingh of the Netherlands during their international soccer friendly match in the Amsterdam Arena March 31, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

AMSTERDAM - Netherlands revived bitter Spanish memories from last year's World Cup finals when they beat a second-string La Roja 2-0 in a friendly on Tuesday to become the first team to inflict two defeats on coach Vicente del Bosque.

Rather than reliving their World Cup final triumph against the Dutch from 2010, Spain were overrun in the opening 20 minutes at the Amsterdam Arena, falling behind to goals from Stefan de Vrij in the 13th minute and Davy Klaassen three minutes later.

The superiority of the home side recalled their 5-1 thrashing of the Spanish in the group stage in Brazil last year, a defeat which signalled the end of Spain's glittering six-year run when they won the 2008 and 2012 European Championships and the 2010 World Cup.

Del Bosque, who had not lost twice to the same side since taking over in 2008, did field a largely experimental lineup, with Malaga forward Juanmi and Sevilla midfielder Vitolo making their international debuts.

However, he will have been concerned that the presence of the likes of experienced campaigners Cesc Fabregas and Santi Cazorla in his midfield did not prevent Netherlands from running away with the match in the early stages.

"It seems impossible that we didn't score," Del Bosque told a news conference.

"The first 20 minutes set us back," he added. "Later, we managed to control the game, we dominated and created chances but were just missing the goal."

De Vrij netted the opener from a Wesley Sneijder centre and Klaassen followed up his own saved shot to rifle the rebound past Spain goalkeeper David De Gea.

Pedro and Juanmi came close to pulling a goal back before the break and Bruno Martins Indi almost made it 3-0 to Netherlands with a free header in the 54th minute.

Vitolo, who replaced Pedro at halftime, fluffed his shot when well placed in the 68th minute and Spain had the better of the final stages but failed to breach the home defence.

After reverses to France in September and Germany in November, it was the first time Spain have lost three friendlies in a row since 2001.

Spain and Netherlands have both stuttered in qualifying for Euro 2016, the Dutch in particular struggling at the halfway stage in Group A.