The Netherlands will finish 2013 unbeaten after holding on for a 0-0 draw with ten men against Colombia at the Amsterdam ArenA.
Jeremain Lens's dismissal forced the home side to play for nearly an hour at a numerical disadvantage, but while Jasper Cillessen made some decent stops after the break, the Netherlands had chances to win it themselves. Nonetheless they stretched their unbeaten run in 2013 to 12 games: seven wins and five draws.
With AFC Ajax's 21-year-old defender Joël Veltman making his debut in the heart of defence, and Gregory van der Wiel returning at right-back for the first time since UEFA EURO 2012, Louis van Gaal's team had a decent start and might have taken the lead on six minutes, with Siem de Jong unable to turn in the rebound after Rafael van der Vaart's effort struck the frame of the goal.
Lens's sending-off on 35 minutes for a foul on Pablo Armero changed the complexion of the match, and Colombia asserted themselves more after half-time, with AS Monaco FC's Falcao drawing a save from Cillessen, who blocked James Rodríguez's header soon afterwards. Luciano Narsingh twice set up fellow substitute Leroy Fer at the other end, yet the finishing touch could not be found. Chelsea FC defender Patrick van Aanholt came on for his first Netherlands cap late on.