AGADIR, Morocco (Reuters) - Quincy Promes and Vincent Janssen scored on either side of half-time to give the Netherlands a confidence boosting 2-1 triumph in their friendly in Morocco on Wednesday.
It marked only the second victory in the last six internationals for the Dutch, who are floundering in fourth in their European qualifying group for next year’s World Cup and fired coach Danny Blind in March.
With new coach Dick Advocaat yet to take up the reigns as he finishes with Fenerbahce in Turkey, Fred Grim was caretaker for a second match as the Dutch used the game to prepare for their World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg in Rotterdam on June 9.
Promes gave the Dutch a first half lead which Janssen doubled in the 68th minute but they then had teenage defender Matthijs de Light sent off and Amsterdam-born Mbark Boussoufa pulled one back for Morocco.
The home side were using the match to prepare for their African Nations Cup qualifier against Cameroon on June 10.
The Dutch had the first chance in the 15th minute when Janssen played the ball in from the left and found Promes with space and time to shoot but he did not connect properly from close range and miscued the effort. Promes did not waste a second chance seven minutes later after being set up by Memphis Depay, who dribbled around a defender and then laid it back for a regulation finish. Promes was the provider for Janssen with a cross from the right that found the Tottenham Hotspur striker with space to chest the ball down and poke it home.
Two minutes later 17-year-old De Ligt was sent off for pulling down Walid Azarou as he bore down on goal and Boussoufa bent the free kick expertly into the net. Morocco, who had six Dutch-born players in their squad, caused their visitors problems at set pieces and staged a late rally in search of an equaliser but to no avail.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Greg Stutchbury