England 2-0 Holland, 1982
Monday, 27 February, 2012
Victory for England at Wembley in 1982.
Last remaining tickets for Holland's next visit to Wembley on Wednesday 29 February are still available to buy priced at £65, £55, £45, £35
Hotline: 0844 826 2010
Ron Greenwood’s England scraped into the Spanish World Cup Finals after finishing second in Group Four, a point behind Hungary and a point above Romania. England met Holland in a warm-up friendly three weeks before the Finals and a 69,000 Wembley crowd saw an encouraging 2-0 victory for the home side.
Peters, a two-goal hero for the Dutch in ’77, was still in the team and there were players who would make their names in the English League – Van Breukelen, Metgod and Muhren. Rijkaard, then 19, came on as a substitute. They were a decent side, though they hadn’t qualified for the World Cup.
After a few minutes of the match, with both teams cautious, England started to find space behind the attacking Dutch midfield. Ray Wilkins put in a curling long-range shot which Van Breukelen saved and then, on 20 minutes, the DOS Utrecht ‘keeper did even better after Paul Mariner had played in the lively Tony Woodcock.
England, well on top, created two more good chances before the break. Alan Devonshire had the beating of full-back Ophof and from one of his sumptuous crosses an unmarked Mariner headed straight into the ‘keeper’s hands. Then a delicate Wilkins chip towards Mariner at the far post was expertly thwarted by Van Breukelen’s straining fingers.
Devonshire, injured, was replaced at half-time by Graham Rix and the Arsenal winger impressed to such a degree that Greenwood would choose him for all five matches in the Finals. England continued to dominate and they didn’t have to wait long for a goal. Van Breukelen, under pressure from Mariner, failed to grab Phil Thompson’s probing cross and the ball broke for Woodcock to pick his spot.
England effectively had the contest won with a second goal just five minutes later. Rix, always prominent, fooled the Dutch defence with a clever pass to Mariner and the big Ipswich striker turned sharply to fire a shot past the ‘keeper. Holland made three substitutions but rarely looked like scoring, though the young Rijkaard certainly caught the eye.
Greenwood’s England could count themselves unfortunate in the Finals. They were unbeaten in all five matches, conceding a solitary goal, but went out after two goalless affairs in ‘Phase Two’.
Gandhi with Ben Kingsley was ‘Best Picture’, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was the top grossing film and Angelina Jolie made her debut as a child actress. A big year in music saw Madonna’s debut and the release of Michael Jackson’s album Thriller. The Human League posed the question Don’t You Want Me? Six days before the Holland match current Chelsea ‘keeper Petr Cech was born in Plzen.
Last remaining tickets for Holland's next visit to Wembley on 29 February are still available to buy priced at £65, £55, £45, £35
Hotline: 0844 826 2010
Hotline: 0845 458 1966