UEFA Euro 2012 Poland & Ukraine - Friendlies
Bulgarians surprise Oranje
The Netherlands have suffered a
surprising defeat in their first 'real' international
of their run up to the European Championships in Poland
and Ukraine. In the Amsterdam ArenA the end result was
1-2 to the visitors. Only Robin van Persie was able
to break the Bulgarian defense in the first half.
Just before the final whistle however
it was substitute Micanski who handed the Dutch a painful
defeat. Up until that moment Holland had hardly been
able to dent the Bulgarian defense.
In the very hot Amsterdam ArenA
a nice set up by Wesley Sneijder and Robin van Persie
had given Holland the lead after a series of attempts
of the little midfielder to reach Van Persie had failed.
Van Persies finish was excellent.
Up until that moment Oranje had
trouble finding their way around the pitch. The pace
was too low to really worry the Bulgarian defense, and
the forwards wouldn't gel. Manager Bert van Marwijk
had opted to put Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in the center with
Van Persie, Rafael Van der Vaart and Sneijder around
him, but it led to little danger. There was a long shot
by Sneijder en a half chance for Van Persie. On the
other side Bozhinov went close when his free kick cracked
On left back 18-year-old Jetro
Willems made his debut. In the first half the PSV defender
had trouble finding the right rhythm, but after the
break he shrugged off all shyness and played a fine
game, until he was replaced by Stijn Schaars. Schaars
and Willems will have to fight it out for the left back
position in the remaining days until Holland open their
tournament on June 9.
That is hopefully enough time for
center back Joris Mathijsen to recover from the injury
he sustained in the 15th minute and for which he had
to be replaced by Freddie Bouma, who got his first cap
in four years.
An unfortunate handball by Rafael
van der Vaart led to a penalty, which Ivelin Popov converted
to the Bulgarian equalizer.
The only slightly exciting moment
from the homeside came 10 minutes before the end when
Arjen Robben replaced Huntelaar and the Bayern Munich
player got a very warm reception from the crowd. Despite
his appearance the Bulgarians scored a second just before
full time that was as unexpected as it was unwelcome.
Netherlands: Krul, Van der Wiel,
Heitinga, Mathijsen (16' Bouma), Willems (62' Schaars),
N. de Jong (82' Strootman), Van Bommel, Van Persie,
Sneijder, Van der Vaart (62' Kuyt), Huntelaar (77' Robben).
Players not used: Boulahrouz, Vlaar,
Stekelenburg, Narsingh, Vorm, L. de Jong.
2012 campaign - Results, schedule, standings
at European Championships
time European Championships ranking