AMSTERDAM • New Netherlands coach Frank de Boer was in a defiant mood after Mexico handed his side a defeat in his first game in charge as they enjoyed a deserved 1-0 win over their hosts in a friendly on Wednesday.
Raul Jimenez made up for several missed first-half chances by tucking away a penalty on the hour mark after Nathan Ake had pulled him back in the area.
It was as much as an enterprising Mexican side deserved as they set up numerous chances in contrast to a pedestrian display from the Dutch.
De Boer named debutants Teun Koopmeiners and Owen Wijndal in his first selection, resting regulars with upcoming Nations League matches in Bosnia on Sunday and Italy on Tuesday.
But there was little for the coach, who replaced Ronald Koeman, to enthuse over as the Dutch looked limp in attack and committed several defensive errors that offered Mexico chances to score.
“I do not believe that I am the first national coach to lose on his debut.” de Boer insisted after the defeat.
“The result is unpleasant, but it was a practice match. You could give the excuse that not all the best guys played.
“We know that someone like Frenkie de Jong is very important, and he was missing. But let’s not forget that Teun Koopmeiners played a very good game in the middle.
“It’s always disappointing to lose, we started poorly, made too many unnecessary mistakes and didn’t get into our own game. Of course we can do better.”
The 50-year-old left Major League Soccer side Atlanta in July after a poor run of form and his appointment as Netherlands coach raised eyebrows among fans who were unimpressed by his record at club level in recent years.
Serie A club Inter Milan sacked de Boer after just 85 days in 2016, while he lasted only seven games as Crystal Palace manager in the Premier League the following year.
NOT AT FULL STRENGTH
I do not believe I’m the first national coach to lose on his debut. The result is unpleasant, but it was a practice match. You could give the excuse not all the best guys played.
FRANK DE BOER , Netherlands coach, wants to be given time to prove himself in his new role.
He was not the only coach to come under fire on Wednesday.
Germany coach Joachim Low bemoaned his side’s inability to hold on to a lead after they conceded a last-gasp equaliser at home in a thrilling 3-3 friendly draw against Turkey.
Stuttgart-born Kenan Karaman bundled in a late leveller against the country of his birth as Turkey fought back from behind three times to snatch a draw and leave Low scratching his head.
The draw was Germany’s third in three games, and the third time in a row that they have failed to win after taking the lead.
“I’m disappointed and frustrated. We have had this problem for a while, and the same thing happened in other games,” Low told broadcaster RTL. “We need to talk about what we can do better and about the mentality we need to develop.”
In other matches, world champions France thrashed Ukraine 7-1 at the Stade de France.
France coach Didier Deschamps made Olivier Giroud captain for his 100th appearance and in return, the Chelsea forward scored a first-half brace that left him on 42 international goals, leapfrogging Michel Platini (41) to go second on the all-time list for Les Bleus. He is nine short of Thierry Henry’s tally.
European champions Portugal return to the Stade de France in the Nations League on Sunday and used a friendly with their Iberian rivals Spain to warm up.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Renato Sanches both struck the woodwork as the match ended in a goal-less stalemate.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS