AMSTERDAM (AP) — Wolverhampton striker Raul Jimenez converted a penalty to give Mexico a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands on Wednesday in a friendly that marked Frank de Boer’s first match as the Dutch coach.
Jimenez scored from the spot on the hour mark after Nathan Ake had fouled him in an empty Johan Cruyff Arena.
The Netherlands twice came close to equalizing in the 88th minute, but substitute Luuk de Jong headed straight at goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera and Memphis Depay smashed the rebound against the bar from close range.
It was De Boer’s first match in charge of the national team since succeeding Ronald Koeman, who quit to join Barcelona after two years of rejuvenating the Dutch squad.
“Of course it’s a bad feeling. You always want to win,” De Boer said, although he added he did not play his strongest side with an eye on two Nations League matches over the next week.
He picked two debutants, left back Owen Wijndal and midfielder Teun Koopmeiners. He also gave goalkeeper Tim Krul his first international start in five years.
The visitors had two good opportunities before the break, but Jimenez shot across the face of the goal in the 12th minute and Jesus Corona shot just wide after a poor clearance by Krul. The Dutch keeper made amends in the second half when he pulled off a sharp save to deny Corona.
At the other end, Talavera saved shots from Depay and Steven Berghuis in the goalless first half and had little to do after the break until the final minutes against a Dutch attack lacking the fluency it developed under Koeman.
The Netherlands takes on Bosnia in Zenica on Sunday and Italy in Bergamo on Wednesday in the UEFA Nations League.
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