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Dutch winger Robben's brace denies England a draw

03-01-2012 09:47 BJT

LONDON, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) -- Arjen Robben's last-gasp left-footed strike propelled Holland to a late 3-2 victory over England at Wembley stadium on Wednesday, piling some pressure on the caretaker manager Stuart Pearce.

The host side seemed to secure a hard-fought draw after goals from Gary Cahill and Ashley Young in the last five minutes of this friendly match.

But the in-form winger Robben, who opened the scoring for the visitor before Klaas Jan Huntelaar headed the second, stunned a crowd of 76,283with his iconic curling and angled shot in the area, sealing the win for Holland.

England then suffered the first defeat in the post-Capello era under the temporary manager Pearce and new captain Scott Parker.

The Tottenham's defensive midfielder got the captain's armband from the stripped John Terry, who was removed from the position by the Football Association due to the racially-abusing allegations against him early in this month, which was reported as a reason for Fabio Capello's resignation as the Italian reacted in different opinions through an Italian broadcast interview later.

With a 4-4-1-1 formation, Pearce, the former U-21 England boss, inserted new bloods to his side with Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill as the new pair in central defence.

Steven Gerrard played behind the lone striker Danny Welbeck while Adam Johnson and Ashley Young tried to create space from two flanks under the support also from the midfield combination of Gareth Barry and Parker.

Holland fielded its usual formation 4-2-3-1 as they did in the South Africa World Cup.

Only two changes were made in the positions of fullbacks where Khalid Boulahrouz and Erik Pieters were sent in to play right and left backs.

The four-man offensive combinations were still Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Dirk Kuyt behind the center-forward Robin Van Persie.

The visitor silenced the home stands in the three minutes of the early second half.

Robben again showed his exclusive skill when he ran from his own half field and then delivered a solo spurt until he reached the area.

The nicknamed "traditional winger" in modern football then cut-in with cool mood before firing into the far corner in front of a helpless Joe Hart, the newly tipped England No.1.

Two minutes later, Huntelaar headed in a powerful header after a serious aerial battle with the England defender Smalling.

The two were both injured and immediately were replaced by Luuk De Jong and Phil Jones.

Cahill and Young regained hope for the "three lions" and ignited the fanatic home crowd in the ending minutes.

But it was Robben who had the final world. Again, his magic left foot.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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