Created on 01-03-2012 at 00:00 AM
Arjen Robben turned in a scintillating individual display to steer the Netherlands to a tight 3-2 friendly victory over an impressive England side on Wednesday evening. A 76,283 crowd at Wembley saw the Bayern winger strike twice for the World Cup runners-up, earning himself the Man of the Match plaudits in the process.
A youthful England contained the Dutch during the goalless first half, before Robben dribbled half the length of the field to put his side in front in spectacular fashion after 57 minutes. Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar doubled the advantage just two minutes later. After a raft of substitutions on both sides, Gary Cahill and Ashley Young scored in the last five minutes and a not undeserved draw seemed on the cards for interim England boss Stuart Pearce and his young team, but Robben produced another moment of magic in stoppage time from a move initiated by former FCB captain Mark van Bommel to seal his sides’ 3-2 victory.
Wins for Alaba and Tymo
Elsewhere, David Alaba and his Austrian team-mates chalked up a comfortable 3-1 victory over Finland. Marc Janko, Martin Harnik and Andreas Ivanschitz netted for the home side in Klagenfurt, with Timo Furuholm scoring a late consolation for the Scandinavian visitors.
Ukraine and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk were made to work for a 3-2 victory away to Israel in Tel Aviv. Oleg Gusev with a penalty and Evgeniy Konoplyanka handed the visitors a two-goal half-time lead, but Tomer Hemad pulled one back from the spot ten minutes after the restart. Andriy Yarmolenko restored the Euro 2012 co-hosts’ two-goal lead on the hour, but Ben Sahar immediately narrowed the advantage again. Tymoshchuk, who played the full 90 minutes, marshalled his side home to victory.
Pranjic and Olic beaten at home
By contrast, Ivica Olic and Danijel Pranjic finished on the losing side as Croatia fell 3-1 at home to Sweden. In fact, the Scandinavians scored all four goals in Zagreb, taking a second-minute lead through a Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty, but pegging themselves back just before the break when Jonas Olsson put through his own goal.
In the second half, substitute Sebastian Larsson netted on 46 and 69 minutes to settle the issue on the night. Olic started the match but was substituted at half-time. Pranjic began on the bench, but replaced injured Leverkusen midfielder Corluka after just 29 minutes.