Netherlands star Arjen Robben scored twice as Danny Blind’s side secured a 3-2 win over Wales at the Cardiff City Stadium on Friday night.
The 31-year-old’s first effort was undoubtedly the pick of the pair, as the Welsh backline was unable to deal with him as he cut in from the right before curling a brilliant strike into the back of the net.
Bas Dost had given the visitors the lead, but Joe Ledley ensured that the two sides went into the interval level as he spared Joe Allen’s blushes after the Liverpool ace saw his effort from the penalty spot saved by Jasper Cillessen.
Chris Coleman would arguably have felt slightly fortunate to have been level given his side had struggled at times, particularly with both Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale missing.
That duo will be key to their chances at Euro 2016 in France next summer, but the remainder of the squad certainly gave a good account of themselves against a Dutch side determined to bounce back after their own qualification disappointment.
Robben struck shortly after the break to restore the lead for the visitors, but Emyr Huws headed home a cross from Joe Allen to frustrate the Dutch again and peg them back at 2-2.
However, it was Robben who had the last word as he escaped the offside trap and produced a composed finish to ensure that Blind had reason to smile on Friday night after collecting a win in their first game since missing out on a spot at the European Championships.
The focus for them will now be on World Cup qualification, and after continuing in his role despite their absence in next summer’s tournament, Blind will hope to continue to blood in more youngsters to play alongside the experienced campaigners in Robben and Wesley Sneijder.