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August 15, 2012
• Stade Roi Baudouin, Bruxelles (Brussel)
Referee: M. Atkinson
• Attendance: 50000
C. Benteke 20'
D. Mertens 75'
R. Lukaku 77'
J. Vertonghen 80'
L. Narsingh 54'
K. Huntelaar 55'
Full time in Brussels. Goals from Benteke, Mertens, Lukaku, and Vertonghen seal an impressive 4-2 victory for Belgium over the Netherlands. A fantastic match with a completely enthralling second half. Who says friendly matches are boring? I've been Martin Macdonald. Thank you for joining us on Goal.com and we'll see you next time!
The hosts are showing no sign of slowing down, however. Vertonghen attempts to launch an attack with a marauding run down the left but his pass into the centre is to nobody. We are in to stoppage time.
Holland looking resigned to defeat now. It all looked so bright ten minutes minutes into the second half but the defence just completely fell apart. The introduction of Mertens has also had an affect. He has been absolutely outstanding since coming on.
The Belgian fans are loving this! Lots of 'Ole's' coming from the stands as the hosts complete a series of passes. Louis Van Gaal looks a very unhappy man as we see a shot of him in the dugout.
The Dutch attacking players have actually not done too bad. Sneijder and Robben have looked bright but the defensive frailties of the visitors haunt them again.
What an unbelievable turnaround we have here. First Holland turn the match on its head but Belgium go one better with three goals in six minutes! The Netherlands have capitulated!
Assist Dries Mertens
Goal Jan Vertonghen
GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL FOR BELGIUM!!! INCREDIBLE! Mertens at the heart of it again! The substitute chest the ball down brilliantly on the left before drifting into the box, he sets up Vertonghen who guides the ball into the far corner!
Assist Dries Mertens
Goal Romelu Lukaku
GOOOOAAAAAL FOR BELGIUM!!! Mertents takes advantage of some slack defending in the area to latch on to a save from Stekelenburg to slide the ball into the unmarked Lukaku who scored into an empty net! 3-2! What a game!
Goal Dries Mertens
GOOOOAAAAAAAALLL for Belgium!! Nigel De Jong criminally gives away possession as the last man at the back and Mertens takes advantage before dashing forward and coolly slotting in the bottom right corner! 2-2. GAME ON!
Yellow Card Wesley Sneijder
As the previous attack breaks down Belgium suicidally surrender possession on the edge of their own area. Maher steps up to the loose ball and fizzes a strike on goal that Courtois does well to parry away!
Netherlands on the counterattack through Robben down the left wing! The Bayern man has lots of grass in front of him but wastefully attempts to clip the ball into the box! Bit of a missed opportunity there as Belgium had committed a lot of men forward.
Lukaku almost makes an instant impact! The substitute drives towards the Holland defence in typically powerful style and shifts the ball on to his left foot before lashing a strike at goal. Stekelenburg saves again at the near post.
Belgium shake things up in the ranks again as Chadli and Benteke are replaced by Dries Mertens and West Brom new boy Romelu Lukaku.
Stekelenburg to the rescue again! What a couple of minutes he is having! Axel Witsel shows clever feet inside the area to get to the byline and pass a cross into the centre. The original cross is cleared ball the ball finds its way to the back post where De Bruyne powers a header at the near post, only to be denied!
Fantastic chance for Belgium! Brilliant from Vermaelen! The Arsenal man drifts out of defence and evades challenge after challenge before sliding a pass through for Dembele on the right who side-foots a shot at goal, but Stekelenburg makes a solid save over the bar!
Awkward save for Stekelenburg! Steven Defour finds himself in plenty of space outside the Holland box and drives a measure shot towards goal that moves all over the place in the air! The Roma goalkeeper kept his wits about him and palmed over the bar.
Yellow Card Guillaume Gillet
Belgiam look a little shell-shocked after a fantastic couple of minutes by Holland sees them go in front. Just how will the hosts respond?
Marc Wilmots wastes no time in making some changes as Holland turn the game on its head. Eden Hazard and Kevin Mirallas are coming off to be replaced by Moussa Dembele and Kevin De Bruyne.
Kevin De Bruyne
Assist Arjen Robben
Goal Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
GOOOOOOAAAAAAL FOR THE NETHERLANDS!! Two goals in two minutes! What a start to the second half! Robben breaks the offside trap and drives towards goal before unselfishly squaring the ball to Huntelaar who taps home! 2-1! What a turnaround!
Assist Arjen Robben
Goal Luciano Narsingh
It had been coming for a while. Holland have been the better side for the last 30 minutes of the match.
GOOOOOAAAAAL FOR THE NETHERLANDS!!! Instanct reaction from the visitors after the break! Robben bursts a gut down the left and squares a perfect pass into the centre of the box for Narsingh who passes the ball into the roof of the net! 1-1!!
With Van der Vaart on the bench now, Sneijder has dropped a little deeper to see more of the ball. The more of the ball he sees, the more dangerous it will be for Belgium.
Holland have started the second half in the same vein as the end of the first period. They look like the team more likely to score the next goal in the match. Lots of possession for the visitors at the moment.
Willems, Mathijsen, Heitinga and Van der Vaart are the players given a rest for the second period.
Louis Van Gaal is taking this match as an opportunity to cast his eye on some new Dutch players for his national team. Stefan de Vrij, Bruno Martins Indi, Nick Viergever, and Adam Maher have all been introduced to the action to make their debut for the Netherlands.
Rafael van der Vaart
Bruno Martins Indi
Stefan de Vrij
Daniel Van Buyten
The Netherlands get the second half started.
The players have returned to the field of play and we are just about ready to get the second half underway...
Half time in Brussels. A goal from Christian Benteke is the difference at half-time between Belgium and the Netherlands in this international friendly encounter. Join us in 15 minutes for the second half!
Scramble just outside Belgium box! Narsingh twists and turns and has a shot at goal! Robben has a go, Van der Vaart has a go! Belgium somehow manage to clear the ball by the skin of their teeth!
The first half winding down slightly. Holland had an excellent 15 minutes or so in the middle of the 45 but it doesn't look like we will see a goal before the break.
Yellow Card Jetro Willems
Belgium employing intelligent tactics in order to stop the ascendance of Holland. They are calmly keeping the ball and have slowed the tempo of the game right down. Holland are getting frustrated.
Holland break down the right through Luciano Narsingh! He shows great pace down the wing before cutting inside and attempting to pass into the middle for the unmarked Huntelaar but Van Buyten stretches out a leg to stop the ball!
It looks like a matter of time for Holland at the moment. They are relentlessly attacking the Belgium goal but the hosts are defending solidly...for the moment.
Penalty shout for the Netherlands!!! Robben goes on a trademark run down the right and cuts inside before reversing a pass into the feet of van Rhijn, who appeared to have his feet clipped as he ran into the box! Referee waves play on!
Holland looking much brighter after conceding the goal. Robben and Van der Vaart are growing into the match and the Belgians have retreated about ten yards back into their own half. Promising for the visitors.
Another shot on goal from the Netherlands as Van der Vaart snatches the ball in midfield and drives forward. The ball finds its way to Huntelaar who screws a shot towards the near post but Courtois is there again to palm the ball away.
Van der Vaart sensing that he is not having a lot of joy in advanced areas so he has opted to drift deeper to receive possession. This is the position he excelled in at times in the European Championships.
Great save from Courtois! Van der Vaart lays the ball of for Holland right-back Ricardo van Rhijn at the edge of the box and he drills a shot at goal but the Belgium goalkeeper gets down low to just turn the ball round the post!
Belgium counterattack at pace through Chadli! The FC Twente man drives towards goal and unleashes a powerful strike on goal but Heitinga is there to bravely block. Chadli had better options there with Hazard and Benteke either side of him but he opted to go for the shot.
Huntelaar has received quite a large amount of passes to his feet with his back to goal but he has struggled against the strong Belgian defenders. He'll need better service than this if he is to prosper in the game.
Assist Kevin Mirallas
Goal Christian Benteke
GOOOOOOOAAAAAL FOR BELGIUM!!! Christian Benteke the scorer! The youngster latches on to a loose ball inside the penalty area and shows incredible composure to dance by the challenge of Mathijsen before smashing the ball past Stekelenburg! 1-0 to the hosts!
Both sides relatively happy to play the ball along their defensive lines at walking pace. Vermaelen of Belgium and Heitinga of Holland have arguably seen the most of the ball so far.
Very much a midfield battle so far. Rafel Van der Vaart is doing is best to drift into dangerous areas in front of the Belgium defence but he is having trouble retaining possession with his back to goal at the moment.
Yellow Card Rafael van der Vaart
No real chances so far for either side. Both nations look very evenly matched but the game needs a shot or a goal-scoring opportunity to get things going.
A truly uncharacteristic challenge from Nigel De Jong as he slides in late on Eden Hazard just inside the Holland half. Free kick to Belgium.
Fantastic block from Mathijsen! Hazard drifts into a dangerous position inside the Holland box and as the Belgian was about to pick out Benteke inside the box, the new Feyenoord man slid in to put the ball out for a corner. Excellent defending.
Nigel De Jong sprays a lovely pass out to the left-hand side for Arjen Robben who stretches those speedy legs down the wing, but the Bayern star just ran the ball out of the park by inches. Strange to see him playing from the left but let us see how long he stays there.
First sniff of goal for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar as he darts to the near post and attempts to power a header at goal but his attempt goes wayward. The Schalke striker preferred to Robin Van Persie in attack this evening.
Great defending from Jetro Willems at the back for the Netherlands as he shows great strength to snatch the ball from the feet of the dangerous Eden Hazard.
Belgium have started the match looking very sharp. There immediate game plan appears to press high up the park, and it seems to be working. A couple of the Holland players have looked shaky in possession in the opening minutes.
The hosts get us started and we are underway in this international friendly!
Conspicuous by his absence is Robin Van Persie, who although in the squad, only makes the bench this evening. He may have other things on his mind, however, are reports are coming through that a fee has been agreed between Arsenal and Manchester United for the transfer of the Dutchman. Breaking news right now on Goal.com
This is the starting XI of the Netherlands: Stekelenburg; Van Rhijn, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Willems; Sneijder, De Jong, Van der Vaart; Narsingh, Huntelaar, Robben
The teams are in and this is how Belgium will be lining up tonight: Gillet; Van Buyten, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Witsel, Defour; Mirallas, Hazard, Chadli; Benteke
Both nations have recently employed new coaches, with Marc Wilmots taking charge of Belgium and former Barcelona coach Louis van Gaal taking the reigns of Holland, so the players in both squads will be looking to impress.
Good evening folks! Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the international friendly match between Belgium and the Netherlands at the Stade Roi Baudouin in Brussels.
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