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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 November 2006, 20:59 GMT
Holland 1-1 England
By Phil McNulty

Rooney celebrates with England team-mates Johnson and Gerrard
Rooney celebrates with England team-mates Johnson and Gerrard
Rafael Van der Vaart's late equaliser deprived England of a morale-boosting victory against Holland in Amsterdam.

Wayne Rooney turned in his first England goal in more than a year after 37 minutes from Joe Cole's cross.

England controlled a poor game and looked to have given under-pressure coach Steve McClaren a lift after the dismal defeat in Croatia.

But Van der Vaart was on the spot to score from 10 yards after England failed to clear Arjen Robben's throw.

England had plus points in the performance of 18-year-old debutant Micah Richards, but it was another frustrating international night for Everton's Andrew Johnson, who was utilised in an unfamiliar position on the wing for much of a drab encounter.

McClaren's side had chances to win the game, but will have been left frustrated by conceding a late leveller against a Dutch side short on quality.

Goalkeeper Paul Robinson, harshly criticised for his mis-kick that led to Gary Neville's own goal in Croatia, demonstrated his quality with a fine early save from Robben after he escaped the attentions of Richards.

Steve McClaren
England coach Steve McClaren was left frustrated

But England were largely untroubled for the rest of the half, with McClaren's side creating the clearer opportunities.

Steven Gerrard should have given England the lead in the 12th minute when he collected a poor back-pass from Chelsea's Khalid Boulahrouz, but his finish was tame and Holland keeper Henk Timmer blocked.

And Rooney was guilty of a miss after 15 minutes when the ball ran loose after Johnson tangled with the Dutch defence.

He chose to head rather than volley and his finish was poor, allowing Timmer to make an easy save.

But he made no mistake when England took the lead eight minutes before the interval - with much of the credit going to Cole.

He curled in a brilliant cross which Rooney touched home with an instinctive finish.

England maintained a measure of control in the second half, and Rooney had an opportunity to double the lead after 69 minutes, but he shot straight at substitute keeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

Michael Carrick then fired inches wide from 25 yards as Holland appeared to be running out of attacking ideas.

606: DEBATE
NU

Holland were desperately short of inspiration, with only Robben offering any sort of hope.

He caused England a rare moment of anxiety with 14 minutes left when his low, driven cross flashed across the face of goal.

England looked to be holding on comfortably, only for Holland to take advantage of poor defending to equalise after 86 minutes.

Robben's long throw was allowed to travel to the far post, despite the presence of several England defenders, and Van der Vaart hammered low past Robinson from 10 yards.

Steven Gerrard almost won it for England in injury-time with a surging run into the box, but Stekelenburg saved.


Holland: Timmer (Stekelenburg 46), Boulahrouz (Jaliens 61), Ooijer (Vennegoor of Hesselink 84), Mathijsen, Emanuelson, Landzaat, Schaars, Seedorf, Van der Vaart, Kuyt (Huntelaar 61), Robben.
Subs Not Used: De Cler, Mendes Da Silva, Sno, Maduro, Heitinga.

Goals: Van der Vaart 86.

England: Robinson, Richards, Ferdinand, Terry, Ashley Cole, Gerrard, Carrick, Lampard, Joe Cole (Richardson 78), Rooney, Johnson (Wright-Phillips 74).
Subs Not Used: Bridge, Foster, Brown, Carragher, Dawson, Neville, Defoe, Crouch.

Booked: Ashley Cole.

Goals: Rooney 37.

Att: 44,000

Ref: Lubos Michel (Slovakia).



SEE ALSO
McClaren cheered by England show
15 Nov 06 |  Internationals
International photos
15 Nov 06 |  Football


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