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Netherlands seek to learn from US setback

"Games like these help us progress," said Netherlands coach Roger Reijners after his side lost 3-1 at home to the United States in their preparations for UEFA Women's EURO 2013.

Manon Melis scored the Netherlands' consolation
Manon Melis scored the Netherlands' consolation ©UEFA.com

The Netherlands continued their UEFA Women's EURO 2013 preparations with a 3-1 home defeat by reigning Olympic champions the United States in The Hague.

The US had gone into the break two goals to the good after strikes from Tobin Heath and Christen Press. Tyresö FF forward Press then doubled her tally on the hour, meaning Manon Melis's goal with 11 minutes left proved only a consolation for the hosts.

Netherlands coach Roger Reijners started with the same team that triumphed 1-0 in Denmark last Friday and the Oranje Lionesses, planning for their second Women's EURO after reaching the semi-finals on their debut in 2009, began well; Kirsten van de Ven forcing goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris into a save.

But despite resting some regulars, the Americans soon got on top, with Yael Averbuch and Press finding goalkeeper Loes Geurts in fine form, and Mandy van den Berg and Sherida Spitse denying the visitors on the line.

Just after the half-hour the US pressure paid off as a loose Dutch pass was intercepted and, after being picked out, Heath found the far corner. Press made it two before the interval, finishing with a low drive after going through on goal.

The relentless Press escaped the attentions of her marker to add a third on the hour, and although the Netherlands' all-time top scorer Melis chipped in her 45th international goal from Lieke Martens's pass, the Dutch were given plenty to ponder ahead of their finals trip to Sweden in July.

"Obviously one hopes for a better result," said coach Reijners. "But they had excellent players. I rate the US at the same level as Germany, who we play at the EURO. So it was very useful to face such a quality opponent. Matches like these help us progress."