England got their world cup preparations off to the best possible start with a 1-0 win against The Netherlands in Amsterdam thanks to Jesse Lingard’s first international goal.
England started brightly, stringing passes together and keeping the ball well, from back to front. England’s skipper for the evening Jordan Henderson, taking the armband in the absence of world-class striker Harry Kane through injury, constantly kept the ball ticking over, switching the play to either side when the visitors in Amsterdam found themselves running into cul-de-sacs.
A Raheem Sterling run down the left and cut-back to the edge of the area saw Jesse Lingard slice wide, with Mathias De Light’s low shot from 30 yards was held by Jordan Pickford, after the centre-back had intercepted a pass just inside the Three Lions half.
One of Manchester City’s main men this campaign, Sterling, had a shot deflected behind by De Ligt for a corner after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had fed the winger following the ball being won in midfield. Just before the interval, Memphis Depay got on the ball from a poor England throw yet his weak effort was easily gathered by Pickford.
Following the half-time break, Stefan De Vrji turned in a Depay cross, only for it to be ruled out after the Lyon winger had overran the ball and it go out for an England goal-kick.
England were the ones to break the deadlock though just before the hour mark and it all came from Pickford. The Everton shot-stopper came out to sweep the ball up, and he found a white shirt in front of him. With one pass, Oxlade-Chamberlain was striding over halfway and finding Lingard 25 yards out. The No.10 for the night fed Danny Rose, whose driven cross was stabbed at by a Holland boot. From the edge of the area, Lingard was afforded the time and space to calmly place his effort into the far corner, despite Zoet getting a hand to it.
A Depay free-kick from 25 yards was caught by Pickford at the second attempt, while a Kieran Trippier piledriver from 20 yards at the other end was beaten away by Zoet following a Danny Welbeck lay-off.
Depay saw himself snuffled out at the other end by Stones and Maguire, with the former Manchester United man’s deflected shot easily gathered by Pickford.
With Holland chucking everything forward in the final five minutes, England held firm and managed to keep the Dutch out bay to see out an impressive win, leaving Gareth Southgate with even more of a selection headache as the World Cup fastly approaches, with a friendly at Wembley against Italy to come next Tuesday.
Holland XI: Zoet, Hateboer, De Ligt, Van Dijk (C), Wijnaldum, De Vrji (Weghorst 89), Promes (Propper 66), Strootman (Van De Beek 89), Dost (Babel 66), Depay, Van Aanholt. Unused substitutes: Til, Cillessen, Ake, De Roon, Berghuis, Vilhena, Fosu-Mensah, Kluivert.
England XI: Pickford, Trippier, Rose (Young 71), Walker, Stones, Gomez (Maguire 10) (Dier 89), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson (C), Rashford (Vardy 68), Sterling (Welbeck 68), Lingard (Alli 68). Unused substitutes: Hart, Mawson, Tarkowski, Livermore, Cook, Butland, Pope, Welbeck, Lallana.