Robben double gives Dutch win over experimental England side

Story highlights

  • Arjen Robben scores superb double as Dutch beat England 3-2
  • Stand-in Stuart Pearce took charge of England in place Fabio Capello
  • France stun Germany 2-1 in Bremen with Olivier Giroud scoring the opener
  • Lionel Messi hat-trick as Argentina beat Swizerland 3-1

Two superb goals from Arjen Robben sunk England at Wembley as the Netherlands secured a last-gasp 3-2 win in Wednesday's busy schedule of international friendlies.

It was cruel on England's stand-in manager Stuart Pearce, who had seen his experimental side battle back from 2-0 down only for the Bayern Munich star to grab the winner in extended injury time.

An entertaining game burst into life just before the hour mark as Robben surged forward and drove home a low shot past England goalkeeper Joe Hart.

Less than a minute later and the 2010 World Cup runners-up were two ahead as striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar bravely headed home Dirk Kuyt's perfect cross from the right.

Huntelaar, who replaced Robin van Persie at halftime, clashed heads with England defender Chris Smalling in scoring and both played no further part in the match.

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England had their chances to get on the score sheet and Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge, who had replaced Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard midway through the first half, spoiled an encouraging performance by a bad miss from close range.

But soon afterwards central defender Gary Cahill beat the offside trap to slot past Maarten Stekelenburg.

Then in the lengthy stoppage time, substitute Phil Jones slipped in forward Ashley Young to score an unlikely equalizer.

But Robben was picked out by Mark van Bommel and with Leighton Baines standing off him, he had time to curl a shot home, albeit through a slight deflection off Cahill.

England had named an inexperienced team with Tottenham's Scott Parker as captain ahead of Gerrard, while Pearce giave international starts to young striker Danny Welbeck, his Manchester United teammate Smalling, Chelsea's Cahill and Everton leftback Baines.

Pearce said after the match that he believed a replacement for Fabio Capello would be in place by Euro 2012.

"I'm sure they'll go through the process of getting someone in place before the summer and if they don't, then they know they have got me available and all the planning is done," he said.

Meanwhile, one of England's first group opponents in Euro 2012, France, scored an upset 2-1 win in Germany in a clash between two former world champions.

It was the first defeat for Joachim Low's team in 11 games, but the home side were left depleted by injuries to regulars.

A first-half goal by France's Olivier Giroud put the visitors on their way to a deserved victory.

Giroud, the leading scorer in Ligue 1 this season for his table-topping side Montpellier, then set up substitute Chelsea's Florent Malouda for the second. Germany's Brazil-born striker Cacau scoring a late consolation for the hosts.

"From our point of view, everything went well, I was pleased with the way we pushed forward and, of course, I'm very pleased with the win," Blanc, who took over from Raymond Domenech after their sorry 2010 World Cup campaign, told AFP.

The United States enjoyed a notable 1-0 win over Italy with Fulham striker Clint Dempsey's second-half goal earning a fourth successive victory and another boost for new manager Jurgen Klinsmann.

Dempsey came close to opening the scoring in the first half as he forced a fine save from Gianluigi Buffon, while Sebastian Giovinco tested U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Lionel Messi worked his magic again to help Argentina to a 3-1 win over Switzerland in Bern with a hat-trick.

The Barcelona superstar scored twice in the final five minutes to secure victory after Xherdan Shaqiri had leveled his 19th-minute opener.

World champions Spain thrashed Venezuela 5-0 in a late kickoff with Messi's Barca teammate Andres Iniesta putting the home side on their way with the opener.

Manchester City midfielder David Silva added the second before Valencia striker Roberto Soldado staked his claim for regular inclusion with a hat-trick to round off a convincing win.

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