Wales 1-2 Netherlands
Goals: Norrington-Davies (90e+2) for Dragons // Koopmeiners (50e), Weghorst (90e+4) for the Oranges
Party aftermaths aren’t the easiest to negotiate, and Wales are checking that the hard way. Three days after qualifying for their first World Cup in 64 years, the Dragons fell at home to the Netherlands, recent winners of Belgium, after a match that was only official in name. Little pace, little atmosphere, largely reshuffled teams: the spectacle in Cardiff is not very exciting, and we only remember from the first act – to the advantage of the Welsh people – the error of recovery of Joe Rodon who finally catches up with his blunder against Noa Lang (8e), and the rescue of Chris Mepham in front of a Cody Gakpo who sped off to challenge Danny Ward (45e).
And since Rob Page decides to give a definitively friendly look to the game, he replaces his goalkeeper at the break. Just entering the track, Adam Davies takes the lightning on a cross shot from Teun Koopmeiners – offset at the entrance to the surface by the neophyte Jerdy Schouten – which came to lodge in the small net (0-1, 50e). 40 minutes of total nothingness later and on the edge of additional time, Rhys Norrington-Davies, placed at six meters, revives Wales with a header on a cross with a line, sent from the right by Connor Roberts (1-1, 90e+2). The Dragons believe in saving the point of the draw, but it is counting without Orange jets that put the heating blue back in stride. On the engagement, Tyrell Malacia finds the skull of Wout Weghorst, who eventually returns the three points to the Dutch (1-2, 90e+4).
First round in favor of the Batavians who remain at the top of the A4 pool ahead of Belgium and Poland. Revenge scheduled for Tuesday, in the Netherlands.
Wales (5-3-2): Ward (A. Davies, 46e) – Roberts, Mepham, Rodon, B. Davies, Norrington-Davies – Levitt (Smith, 68e), Morrell (Colwill, 60e), Wilson-Johnson (Matondo, 77e), James (Basel, 77e). Coach: Robert Page.
Netherlands (3-4-3): Flekken – Teze, De Vrij, De Ligt (Martins Indi, 84e) – Hateboer, Koopmeiners, Schouten (De Jong, 67e), Malacia-Lang (Til, 90e+1), Weghorst, Gakpo (Bergwijn, 67e). Coach: Louis van Gaal.