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Netherlands 1-1 Spain: 5 Talking Points as hosts remain winless under Frank de Boer despite fightback | International Friendlies 2020

Netherlands v Spain - International Friendly
Netherlands v Spain - International Friendly
Modified 12 Nov 2020, 10:28 IST

It promised to be a colourful affair at the Amsterdam Arena as Ons Oranje took on La Roja. However, fans of both the Netherlands and Spain were left demanding for more as ninety minutes failed to separate the two nations.

The two teams met for just the third time since the infamous 2010 FIFA World Cup Final, with the Netherlands having claimed victories in the two encounters since. Spain were looking for a statement win over their European rivals, having scored just once against them - while conceding seven - in the last decade.

And La Roja were given the perfect start by Real Betis midfielder Sergio Canales, who gave his side the lead in the eighteenth minute. The goal came courtesy of the in-form Alvaro Morata, who dropped deep before supplying the penetrative ball for the midfielder to slot home.

However, Spain were unable to hold on to or double their advantage, and allowed their opponents to hit back early in the second half. Manchester United's Donny van de Beek fired a scintillating volley past debutant Unai Simon in goal after some good build-up by the Dutchmen.

With the two sides now heading into crucial UEFA Nations League stage, we look at five things we learnt from their latest encounter.

#1 Four without a win for Netherlands

Netherlands v Spain - International Friendly
Netherlands v Spain - International Friendly

It wasn't the result the Oranje were hoping for, as they were held to a draw by Luis Enrique's Spain in Amsterdam. The Dutchmen have struggled to get going since the arrival of Frank de Boer, with the ex-player having taken the reigns from Barcelona-bound Ronald Koeman in September.

Since then, the 2010 World Cup finalists have faced Mexico, Bosnia ad Herzegovina, Italy, and Spain, losing against Mexico while registering back-to-back-to-back draws against the rest. In failing to win any of his first four matches as the manager of the Dutch national team, De Boer recorded the unwanted feat of being the first to do so.


The former Ajax and Inter Milan manager must now hope for a quick turnaround, as his team take on Poland and Bosnia in the Nations League soon with elimination looming.

#2 In-form Morata gives Spain the edge

SD Eibar SAD v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga
SD Eibar SAD v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga

Alvaro Morata's stock fell considerably following his ill-fated move to Chelsea back in 2017. The Spaniard went from hero to villain at Stamford Bridge quickly, with the Blues fans' frustrations eventually boiling over after a series of missed chances during his short spell.

The striker has been back to Spain since leaving London, but currently finds himself in Turin playing alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala. And it is at Juventus that Morata seems to have found his best form back, having netted six goals in just eight appearances for the Old Lady.


A string of good performances led to Luis Enrique recalling the 28-year-old to national team set-up. Morata made the most of this opportunity by providing a nice assist for Sergio Canales as his team went one-nil up against the Netherlands.

Enrique will hope that Morata's good form continues over the next week, with Spain set to meet Germany in a match that will likely decide who goes to Nations League Finals.

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Published 12 Nov 2020, 10:28 IST
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