Netherlands held to draw by Ecuador

A wonder goal from Dutch captain Robin Van Persie secures a 1-1 draw with Ecuador in their World Cup warm-up game.

    The Netherlands were in need of a win having lost their previous four internationals [Getty Images]
    The Netherlands were in need of a win having lost their previous four internationals [Getty Images]

    Captain Robin van Persie netted a superb volleyed goal as an under-strength Netherlands came from behind to draw 1-1 with visitors Ecuador in their World Cup warm-up match at the Amsterdam Arena.

    The Dutch lined up in a 5-3-2 formation which coach Louis Van Gaal said they would be forced to play at the World Cup because of injury to key midfielder Kevin Strootman, a lack of adequate left backs and a desire to field three "creative" players in every match. 

    However Van Gaal started with 10 home-based players, plus Manchester United's Van Persie, because the Dutch league players had already spent two weeks working on the new system while most of the country's foreign-based contingent only reported to their pre-tournament training camp this week. 

    The Dutch fell behind after nine minutes but Van Persie extended his record number of goals for his country to 42 as he took down a long ball from Jordy Clasie, which was hit from the halfway line and straight down the middle of the field, onto his chest before allowing it to drop onto his left foot for an exquisite finish eight minutes before halftime.

    Ecuador start fast

    Earlier Jefferson Montero had caught the inexperienced Dutch defence napping, getting in behind them and latching onto Felipe Caicedo's pass, who went off not long afterwards with a suspected hip injury that leaves his World Cup participation in doubt.

    Ecuador also saw debutant Armando Wila carried off on a stretcher in the second half while the Dutch will have concerns after defender Daryl Janmaat hobbled off at the interval.

    Vsn ersie was taken off in the 79th minute to allow Klaas Jan Huntelaar his first international run-out since last August but not before missing a good chance to give the Dutch victory.

    Substitute Patrick van Aanholt played in a curling cross from the left in the 63rd minute that needed only a touch from Van Persie but he missed the ball in front of goal.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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