France beat Netherlands in thriller as Johan Cruyff remembered

Match stopped in 14th minute as player and fans paid tribute to Dutch legend

Netherlands 2 France 3

France captain Blaise Matuidi struck late to snatch a 3-2 win over the Netherlands in a thriller as fans and players paid tribute to Johan Cruyff's memory with a minute's applause in Friday's friendly in Amsterdam.

Early goals from Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud had put France in control at the Amsterdam Arena, but Luuk de Jong pulled one back just after halftime and substitute Ibrahim Afellay equalised with a long-range shot five minutes from time.

Matuidi’s 86th-minute goal handed France a deserved victory as they continued their preparations ahead of hosting Euro 2016, which the Netherlands surprisingly failed to qualify for.


Griezmann fired home a sixth-minute free kick before fellow forward Giroud reacted quickest to a loose ball in the penalty area to extend the visitors’ lead in the 13th minute.

The referee then stopped the game for 60 seconds as the players led the crowd in loud applause for three-time European Footballer of the Year Cruyff, who died on Thursday aged 68.

Cruyff, who wore the No 14 shirt, was a runner-up in the 1974 World Cup final, scored 33 goals in 48 games for his country and won three European Cups with Ajax Amsterdam in the early 1970s as well as taking Barcelona to the European title as manager in 1992.

After the restart,home goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen needed sharp reflexes to keep out Griezmann's glancing header in the 25th minute and West Ham star Dimitri Payet struck the base of the Dutch post on the hour after a strong run and shot from midfield.

In between, the Dutch got a goal back when a curling free kick from half-time substitute Memphis Depay was bundled home by De Jong, who missed with an attempted header but scored with a combination of chest and arm, unseen by the referee.

Depay's Manchester United team-mate, France striker Anthony Martial, also came on at the break along with Leicester City midfielder Ngolo Kante, who made his debut for the visitors.

Afellay, a late call-up to the Netherlands squad, hammered home the leveller from distance after a corner that was pulled back to him outside the penalty area.

But Dutch hopes of a comeback were quashed within 60 seconds when Martial set up Matuidi, wearing No 14, who squeezed the ball in at the near post for the winner.

France play Russia at Stade de France on Tuesday as they continue their warm-up for the Euros, while the Dutch travel to Wembley Stadium to face England.

NETHERLANDS: J Cillessen; J Veltman, J Bruma, V van Dijk (I Afellay 46 mins), D Blind, J Willems (P van Aanholt 77 mins); D Klaassen (G Wijnaldum 76 mins), J Clasie (M Depay 46 mins), W Sneijder (R Bazoer 37 mins); L de Jong (V Janssen, 81 mins), Q Promes. Subs not used: J Zoet, R Karsdorp, T Letschert, L Narsingh, K-J Huntelaar, K Vermeer.

FRANCE: S Mandanda; C Jallet, R Varane, L Koscielny, P Evra (L Digne 46 mins); P Pogba (M Sissoko 87 mins), L Diarra (N Kante 46 mins), B Matuidi; A Griezmann (A Martial 46 mins), O Giroud (A-P Gignac 73 mins), D Payet. Subs not used: H Lloris, M Sakho, Y Cabaye, B Sagna, K Coman, J Mathieu, B Costil.

Referee: Felix Zwayer (Germany).

Attendance: 40,000