Van Persie shines in drawn tie

Van Persie shines in drawn tie

Captain Robin van Persie netted a superb volleyed goal as an under-strength Netherlands came from behind to draw 1-1 with visitors Ecuador in their World Cup warm-up match at the Amsterdam Arena on Saturday.

The Dutch fell behind after nine minutes but Van Persie extended his record number of goals for his country to 42 as he took down a long ball from Jordy Clasie, which was hit from the halfway line and straight down the middle of the field, onto his chest before allowing it to drop onto his left foot for an exquisite finish eight minutes before half-time.Earlier Jefferson Montero had caught the inexperienced Dutch defence napping, getting in behind them and latching onto Felipe Caicedo's pass, who went off not long afterwards with a suspected hip injury that leaves his World Cup participation in doubt.

The Dutch, whose emphatic form in the qualifiers meant they were the first European side to book their berth in Brazil, have failed to win their last four internationals.Ecuador also saw debutant Armando Wila carried off on a stretcher in the second half while the Dutch will have concerns after defender Daryl Janmaat hobbled off at the interval.

The Dutch lined up in a 5-3-2 formation which coach Louis Van Gaal said they would be forced to play at the World Cup because of injury to key midfielder Kevin Strootman, a lack of adequate left backs and a desire to field three "creative" players in every match.

However Van Gaal started with 10 home-based players, plus Manchester United's Van Persie, because the Dutch league players had already spent two weeks working on the new system while most of the country's foreign-based contingent only reported to their pre-tournament training camp this week.

Van Persie was told on arrival that he would play in all three warm-up matches to work on his match fitness after a two-month injury lay-off.