Netherlands, Belgium in friendly draw
Amsterdam, Nov 10 (IANS) The Netherlands and Belgium drew 1-1 in a hard-fought international friendly here.
In the 126th edition of the ‘Derby of the Lowlands’ here on Wednesday, Belgium were the favorites with the better team on paper with players like Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Axel Witsel and Jan Vertonghen, while the Netherlands are in the middle of a lean period, reports Xinhua.
Belgium hardly showed their potential in the first half and the Netherlands had the better opportunities.
After Vertonghen brought down Jeremain Lens the home-team was rewarded a penalty, which was converted by Davy Klaassen.
Dutch head coach Danny Blind had to substitute twice in the first part due to injuries for midfielder Stijn Schaars and striker Vincent Janssen.
The second half didn’ t have any highlights until the last quarter when Belgium became more and more dangerous through, among others, substitute Romelu Lukaku and Hazard.
It was Yannick Carrasco who brought Belgium the deserved equalizer in the 82nd minute. His shot surprised Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, because it was deflected by defender Joel Veltman.
With the PSV Eindhoven duo of Joshua Brenet and Bart Ramselaar as debutants the Netherlands managed to hold this score until the end, although Belgium remained dangerous.
The match between the two lowland nations ended in a draw for the 30th time, with the Netherlands winning 55 and losing 41 of the previous 125.
The Netherlands will now prepare for the 2018 World Cup qualifier on Sunday against Luxembourg, while Belgium will host Estonia.