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  • 17 May 2014
  • • 19:30
  • • Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam
  • Referee: P. Kralovec
  • • Attendance: 50000

Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador: Van Persie rescues a draw for Van Gaal's side

Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador: Van Persie rescues a draw for Van Gaal's side

The Manchester United striker scored a brilliant left-footed volley to ensure a share of the spoils in the World Cup warm-up match in Amsterdam

A fine strike from Robin van Persie secured a 1-1 draw for Netherlands in their friendly clash with Ecuador on Saturday.

The Manchester United star fired home after controlling a pass from Jordy Clasie on his chest, following Ecuador's early opener through Jefferson Montero.

Neither side was able to find a winner at the Amsterdam ArenA as both teams battled well in a bid to warm up for the World Cup next month.

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has been the subject of intense speculation linking him with the vacant manager's position at Manchester United, emerging as a clear front-runner to succeed David Moyes.

The 62-year-old coach was insistent that his focus remains solely on the Netherlands until his future is cleared up in an official capacity, but media reports claim United could confirm his appointment within the next week.

It was the home side who almost got off to a flyer, with Georginio Wijnaldum squaring across the face of goal for Memphis Depay, but the highly rated 20-year-old missed the target under pressure from Juan Carlos Paredes.

Ecuador capitalised on that let-off in the ninth minute when Joel Veltman failed to cut out Felipe Caicedo's defence-splitting pass and Montero coolly slotted past Jasper Cillessen.

The lively Wijnaldum went close to pulling the Netherlands level with 18 minutes on the clock, but his dipping half-volley flew just wide of the left-hand post.

Caicedo's World Cup hopes were cast into doubt in the 34th minute as he was forced off with an innocuous injury and things got even worse soon after as Van Persie equalised.

The United star nonchalantly brought down Clasie's long ball on the chest and smashed past the helpless Maximo Banguera eight minutes before the break.

Ecuador enjoyed an enterprising start to the second half as they appeared intent on attacking their hosts, but their chances received a blow as debutant Armando Wila – Caicedo's replacement – was carried off with a suspected thigh injury.

Netherlands should have taken the lead just after the hour mark, but Van Persie failed to connect properly with Patrick van Aanholt's low cross right in front of goal.

Van Aanholt was presented with a chance of his own in the closing stages, but the Chelsea-owned full-back's finish was tame.

Under-strength Netherlands – whose World Cup campaign starts against Spain on June 13 – were unable to force themselves in front late on and Ecuador earned a commendable draw ahead of another friendly meeting with Mexico later this month.