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Robben ruins Pearce's big night

Arjen Robben struck a winner in stoppage time to spoil Stuart Pearce’s first, and perhaps only, game in charge of England. The Dutch winner was a chastening end to the game after a spirited England comeback.

After holding their own in the first half, England’s defensive inexperience had been exposed by two sharp Dutch goals early in the second-half. With the game seemingly lost, England rallied in the last 5 minutes and levelled with goals from Gary Cahill and Ashley Young. Then a momentary lapse in concentration allowed Robben to steal the winner.

There were promising aspects to an England side that featured several players with limited international experience. Daniel Sturridge was probably the pick of the new recruits, looking confident and dangerous when he came on as a substitute for Steven Gerrard.

"We probably showed a little bit of naivety, and possibly a lack of belief," Pearce said. "Perhaps we lacked a bit of game-management, a bit of know-how or nous, but you have to learn. It was a great exercise and we've learned a bit about one or two individuals and their credentials for the summer. This will stand our young players in good stead."

Scott Parker was chosen as England’s captain, and gave a solid if unspectacular performance as the holding player in midfield. "To captain your country is what every boy dreams of, so to get the chance was amazing," Parker said. "It was pretty emotional, an immensely proud moment for me and something I'll always cherish."

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