NETHERLANDS 2-2 ENGLAND, Amsterdam, 12/08/09
Kuyt 10, Van der Vaart 38, Defoe 49, 77
The Netherlands retained the UFWC title in this entertaining game, but England didn’t make it easy. In what was very much a game of two halves, the Dutch threw away a two-goal lead, and were hanging on for much of the closing period.
England gifted the Netherlands the lead within 10 minutes, when Rio Ferdinand’s terrible backpass was picked up by Dirk Kuyt, who took the ball around Robert Green, checked back from a wide position, and drilled a shot past John Terry on the goalline.
And it was another England error that allowed the Dutch to double their advantage on 37 minutes, this time Gareth Barry’s poor backpass allowing Arjen Robben to test Green, with Rafael Van der Vaart netting the rebound.
A half-time hairdryer treatment from England boss Fabio Capello – and a triple substitution – paid almost immediate dividends. Frank Lampard’s hopeful punt was superbly controlled by sub Jermaine Defoe, who raced away to bury a left-foot shot in off the post.
Defoe pulled England level on 77 minutes, finishing from James Milner’s low pass.
Defoe and Carlton Cole both had chances to win the game for England, and Wesley Sneijder could have won it late on for the Dutch, but at the final whistle the scores were level, meaning the Netherlands retain the title, but don’t receive a ranking point.
The Netherlands’ next match is an interesting encounter with Japan in Enschede on 5 September. Should they retain the title, the next UFWC title match will be against all-time champions Scotland four days later.
The UFWC scorecast competion was won by Ansgar.