De Boer had already admitted during a press conference on Tuesday that Marco Bizot was going to play against Spain. The AZ goalkeeper made his official Orange debut.
The national coach had also revealed that Davy Klaassen would ‘definitely play’ against the Spaniards. The Ajax player, who was brought back to the Dutch national team by De Boer after an absence of three years, started on the bench.
The choice lord started with the midfield that played 1-1 against Italy last time: Frenkie de Jong, Donny van de Beek and Georginio Wijnaldum. The latter wore the captain’s armband on his birthday (he turned 30), a nice extra for him.
The system was different from the previous international match. De Boer returned to the 4-3-3 style of play against Spain, while Italy was well fought in a 5-3-2.
Because there was room for real wingers, Steven Berghuis got a basic place again. The Feyenoord player started his nineteenth international match against the Spaniards.
The game started dramatically for Nathan Aké. The Manchester City defender had to go to the side after five minutes with a hamstring injury.
The day before, De Boer had expressed his concern about the increase in injuries for many players. The national coach finds the many injuries, in combination with the busy match schedule, disturbing.
24 hours later, another name could be added to the rag basket: Aké could not continue and was replaced by Daley Blind.
Ten minutes after that change, the visitors came to 0-1. Sergio Canales benefited from not very decisive action by Joël Veltman and Bizot. Soon after, Luuk de Jong had a good chance of the equalizer, but he shot right at the Spanish goalkeeper.
After more than half an hour, De Jong claimed a penalty when he went down in the Spanish penalty area. The striker of Sevilla even lost a shoe, but referee Davide Massa did not see it. Bizot was then allowed to stand out in a positive way when he boxed a shot from Alvaro Morata.
Van de Beek
The second half started with Klaassen, Denzel Dumfries, Calvin Stengs and Stefan de Vrij as substitutes. Blind thus moved on to midfield.
Those conversions had an immediate effect. A nice cross pass from Klaassen ended up at Owen Wijndal, who found Van de Beek in the sixteen meter area. The Manchester United midfielder shot in hard: 1-1. It marked his second international goal, after having scored the first against the Italians last month.
Spain and Orange had the best chances in the last 45 minutes, but Memphis, De Jong and Ryan Babel missed great opportunities. There were no more goals.
For example, after four international matches, De Boer is still waiting for his first victory as national coach. Perhaps the upcoming matches in the Nations League, Bosnia-home and Poland-away, can give him a green tick.