After all the pre-match hype concerning interim manager Stuart Pearce and his newly appointed team captain Scott Parker, England fans were yet again left disappointed after the national team staged a comeback against Hollands in the closing minutes of the game, only to be denied the draw in injury time.
The match began typically for England with little in the way of progressive play and them unable to break through Holland's defence, despite Daniel Sturridge's continual efforts to forge some kind of run. As the second half began the score remained 0-0, until Robben charged through in the 57th minute and tucked the ball into the corner of the net to make it 0-1 to Holland.
A minute later and Huntelaar widened the goal difference by making it 0-2, capitalising on a superb cross from Kuyt to header the ball into the back of the net. Unfortunately for Huntelaar he was unable to celebrate his goal, as England defender Smalling had lunged for the ball with his head at the same time, both players colliding with each other and falling to the floor. Huntelaar raised his head with a mouthful of grass while Smalling remained motionless. Both players were sent to the hospital.
England's hopes of mounting a comeback looked non-existent, until the 85th minute when Cahill ran ludicrously far out of position to find himself through on goal. Baines passed him the ball, he took a nice first touch and casually slotted it into the back of the net. Replays showed that Cahill was offside, but the linesman missed it and the score was now 1-2.
Now the play was all England, and six minutes later they equalised following substitute Theo Walcott's excellent through ball to Ashley Young, who chipped the ball over the advancing keeper to make the score 2-2. Unfortunately the rowdy England home crowd are quickly silenced, as Cahill accidentally deflects Robben's shot with his shoulder, sliding the ball past Joe Hart to make the final score 2-3 to Holland.
Although this was an inconsequential friendly it was still the first outing of an inexperienced England squad with both a new manager and a new captain. Though the victory would certainly have boosted morale, the squad that played yesterday seemed to gel well and, with more time together and more training, may just surprise us.