Euro 2012

Bulgaria send Dutch crashing to another defeat

Netherlands' Euro 2012 build-up suffered another setback on Saturday when Bulgaria won their friendly clash 2-1 with the defeat coming just four days after losing 3-2 to Bayern Munich.

Robin van Persie had given the Dutch, one of the favourites for the title at Euro 2012 which starts on June 8, a 45th-minute lead.

But Bulgaria, who didn't qualify for the tournament, levelled four minutes into the second half with an Ivelin Popov penalty after a handball by Rafael van der Vaart.

Striker Ilijan Mizanski hit the winner in the second minute of injury time on a counter-attack.

Dutch fans were so frustrated by Bert van Marwijk's team that they were jeered off at the final whistle.

The result also failed to resolve the coach's dilemma over how best to play Arsenal star van Persie and Schalke forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar together in their best roles.

Van Marwijk also has problems at left back with 18-year-old Jetro Willems, who has only played 20 times in the Dutch first division, handed a debut on Saturday.

"The result is disappointing," admitted the coach. "We took a lot of risks at the end of the game and were caught on the counter-attack.

"But that's football and we need to learn the lessons. To score goals, you have to have movement and we missed that tonight."

The Netherlands are in Group B at Euro 2012 with Denmark, Germany and Portugal.


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