Bulgaria deal Dutch pre-EURO blow
The Netherlands build-up to the UEFA EURO 2012 suffered another setback on Saturday when Bulgaria won their friendly match 2-1, with the defeat coming just four days after losing 3-2 to Bayern Munich.
Robin van Persie had given the Dutch, one of the favourites for the title at EURO 2012 which starts on 8 June, a 45th-minute lead. But Bulgaria, who didn't qualify for the tournament, levelled four minutes into the second half with an Ivelin Popov penalty after a handball by Rafael van der Vaart.
Striker Iliyan Mitsanski hit the winner in the second minute of injury time on a counter-attack. Dutch fans were so frustrated by Bert van Marwijk's team that they were jeered off at the final whistle.
The result also failed to resolve the coach's dilemma over whether to start with Arsenal star Van Persie as the lone striker or call in Schalke forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Van Marwijk also has problems at left back with 18-year-old Jetro Willems, who has only played 20 times in the Dutch first division, handed a debut on Saturday.
The Netherlands are in Group B at EURO 2012 along with Denmark, Germany and Portugal.