Jamie Vardy scored on his first start for England but the Three Lions fell to defeat against a Netherands side eager to set the record straight.
The Oranje, dressed unusually in purple, failed to qualify for the Euro 2016 finals and came to this Breast Cancer Care International with a line-up short of the stellar players who finished third at the 2014 World Cup.
But they equalised from the penalty spot through Vincent Janssen, and went ahead with a disputed second through Luciano Narsingh.
England 1-2 Netherlands
A Breast Cancer Care International
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
Tuesday 29 March 2016
England boss Roy Hodgson gave a debut to Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater, and the midfielder put in an assured display alongside captain-for-the-night James Milner.
Vardy, meanwhile, was lively in the extreme, and looked every bit as at ease as he had at Olympiastadion on Saturday.
After the sheer exhilaration of England’s 3-2 win over Germany in Berlin, the opening exchanges were low-key, but there were respects to be paid.
Before kick-off both teams stood for a minute’s silence to mark the atrocities in Brussels, and on the 14th minute all of Wembley rose to applaud the late, great Johan Cruyff, who died last week.
Both moments were observed impeccably under the arch.
Netherlands had the first chance, with Stoke City’s Ibrahim Affelay, one of four England-based players in the visiting starting XI, having a stern shot spilled and then gathered by Fraser Forster.
Vardy responded by firing over, then Ross Barkley showed his blend of power and skill to spin off Riechedly Bazoer and drill a shot narrowly wide of the right-hand post.
Even so, Vardy’s opener came as a pleasant surprise to the home fans, and it was a fitting way to open his Wembley account for the Three Lions.
Drifting in from the left, Adam Lallana collected the ball on the D, pulled off a neat turn before playing in Walker.
The right-back had a split-second to shoot but instead unselfishly cut back to Vardy who finished high into the net.
It was the 100th goal of Hodgson’s tenure – and as well-executed as any before.
Netherlands looked a better side after the break, and within four minutes were level.
John Stones slipped in possession and Janssen picked up the loose ball before working Forster from close range. Then from the resulting melee Danny Rose was adjudged to have handballed a Narsingh cross.
Janssen’s top-corner penalty would have been unstoppable even if he had not sent Forster the wrong way. It was the first goal England conceded at Wembley in 467 minutes and the first penalty scored against them since 2008.
Vardy sought an immediate riposte, making space with his speed on the ball and sending a stinging drive towards goal, forcing an acrobatic save out of Jeroen Zoet.
Hodgson then shuffled his pack, bringing on Berlin hero Harry Kane, but Netherlands quite literally nudged ahead with 12 minutes to go.
Janssen appeared to barge into Phil Jagielka before taking a touch into the six-yard box, cutting back for Narsingh to tap home at the far post amid protests from England.
Kane, added to the hosts' forward options, and sent a shot just wide from the edge of the area, but the Three Lions could not avoid their first defeat at HQ since Germany in November 2013.
England (4-3-1-2): 1 Fraser Forster (Southampton); 2 Kyle Walker (Tottenham), 5 Chris Smalling (Manchester United), 6 John Stones (Everton), 3 Danny Rose (Tottenham); 7 James Milner (captain; Liverpool), 4 Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City), 11 Adam Lallana (Liverpool); 8 Ross Barkley (Everton); 10 Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), 9 Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool).
Subs: 14 Theo Walcott (Arsenal) for Sturridge 58, 12 Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) for Rose 58), 16 Phil Jagielka (Everton) for Smalling 70, 19 Harry Kane (Tottenham) for Lallana 70, 20 Dele Alli (Tottenham) for Milner 82, 18 Eric Dier (Tottenham) for Drinkwater 84.
Substitutes not used: 13 Tom Heaton (GK, Burnley), 15 Gary Cahill (Chelsea), 17 Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), 21 Danny Welbeck (Arsenal).
Goals: Vardy 41.
Manager: Roy Hodgson.
Netherlands (4-2-3-1): 1 Jeroen Zoet; 2 Joe Veltman, 3 Jeffrey Bruma, 4 Daley Blind (captain), 5 Jetro Willems; 6 Richedly Bazoer, 10 Georginio Wijnaldum; 7 Memphis Depay, 8 Ibrahim Afellay, 11 Quincy Promes; 9 Vincent Janssen.
Subs: 17 Luciano Narsingh for Promes 36, 18 Marco van Ginkel for Bazoer 79, 15 Patrick van Aanholt for Willems 82, 16 Jordi Clasie for Janssen 90.
Subs not used: 23 Kenneth Vermeer (GK), 23 Michel Vorm (GK), 12 Rick Karsdorp, 13 Virgil van Dijk, 19 Klaas van Huntelaar, 20 Luuk de Jong, 21 Timo Letschert.
Goals: Janssen 50pen
Manager: Danny Blind.
Referee: Mateu Lahoz (Spain).