Clasie and van Dijk start in Netherlands' defeat to France

By SFC Media Fri 25 Mar Club

Virgil van Dijk and Jordy Clasie both started for Netherlands as they lost 3-2 at home to France.

The Southampton duo both played the first half of the friendly at Amsterdam ArenA, with van Dijk being substituted at the interval for Ibrahim Afellay, while Clasie was withdrawn in the 47th minute for Memphis Depay.

It was an emotional night for the hosts, with play being halted in the 14th minute as a mark of respect for the legendary Johan Cruyff, following the Dutch great’s passing this week.

Although planned as a minute’s silence, the crowd and players erupted into applause in tribute to Cruyff.

By that stage, France were already 2-0 ahead, through Antoine Griezmann’s brilliant sixth-minute free-kick and Olivier Giroud’s volley in the 13th minute.

Luuk de Jong pulled one back for the hosts shortly after the break, forcing in a Depay free-kick, and it looked as though Afellay had rescued a draw when he fired in with four minutes remaining.

But just two minutes later Blaise Matuidi finished after being played in by Anthony Martial.

For Clasie and van Dijk, attention now turns to Tuesday’s game against England, at Wembley Stadium.

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