Wout Weghorst scored deep in added time as the Netherlands edged past Cymru with a 2-1 win in Group A4 of the UEFA Nations League.
Rhys Norrington-Davies looked to have rescued a point for Cymru in the 92nd minute when he headed home his first goal on the international stage tto cancel out Teun Koopmeiners’ strike.
But the Dutch responded immediately through Weghorst to ensure they sealed maximum points and remained top of the group at Cardiff City Stadium.
It saw Cymru’s impressive unbeaten run of 19 games on home soil, which stretched back to November 2018, brought to an end by Louis van Gaal’s side in the capital.
Rob Page made seven changes from Cymru’s 1-0 win over Ukraine three days earlier, with Joe Rodon, Connor Roberts, Dan James and Ben Davies, who was given the captain’s armband, keeping their places in the starting line-up.
While van Gaal, who saw his side start their campaign in style on Friday with a convincing 4-1 win over Belgium, name a completely different starting XI for the away side.
The Netherlands enjoyed the first opportunity to test Danny Ward inside the opening eight minutes, but a breakaway ended with Koopmeiners’ effort being deflected to safety by Chris Mepham.
Mepham then set up Norrington-Davies with an inviting delivery down the opposite end, but his header sailed just over the crossbar.
Norrington-Davies’ pace on the left continued to cause the away defence problems and after winning a free-kick in a promising position, Wilson stung the palms of Mark Flekken with a curling left-footed effort.
Davies then came to Cymru’s rescue as he made a crucial challenge to deny Koopmeiners on the edge of the area before preventing Jerdy Schouten’s shot from troubling Ward.
The Dutch had finished the first half on top and took the lead five minutes after the restart when Koopmeiners’ low shot beat goalkeeper Davies and found its way into the bottom corner.
A quick breakaway from James almost brought Cymru level as a run from inside his own half eventually ended in him firing the ball over the crossbar.
Cymru finally got the equaliser as the game entered stoppage time when Roberts picked out Norrington-Davies, whose towering header beat Flekken and looked to have earned the hosts a share of the spoils.
But the Dutch had the final say when Frenkie de Jong drove forward and after Tyrell Malacia’s cross found Weghorst, the striker nodded home to seal the victory for the group leaders.
CYMRU 1-2 NETHERLANDS
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE – LEAGUE A – GROUP A4
- Wednesday, 8 June 2022
- Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff
Cymru XI: Ward (A Davies 45); Mepham, Rodon, B Davies (C); C Roberts, Morrell (Colwill 60), Levitt (Smith 67), Norrington-Davies; Wilson, Johnson (Bale 77), James (Matondo 77). Subs: Gunter, Burns, Ampadu, J Williams, Harris, Thomas.
Manager: Rob Page.
Goals: Norrington-Davies (90+2)
Yellow cards: None.
Red cards: None.
Netherlands XI: Flekken, Teze, De Vrij (C), De Ligt (Martins Indi 84); Hateboer, Koopmeiners, Schouten (De Jong 67’), Malacia; Lang (Til 90+1), Gakpo (Bergwijn 67); Weghorst. Subs: Cillessen, Scherpen, Ake, Depay, Berghuis, Klaassen, Blind, Dumfries.
Manager: Louis van Gaal.
Goals: Koopmeiners (50) Weghorst (90+4)
Yellow cards: Teze (2)
Red cards: None.
Referee: Glenn Nyberg (SWE) Assistant referees: Mahbod Beigi (SWE) and Andreas Söderqvist (SWE) Fourth official: Bojan Pandžić (SWE) VAR: Paweł Raczkowski (POL) Assistant VAR: Krzysztof Myrmus (POL)