Belgium 1-1 Holland: Dries Mertens' early opener canceled out by Arnaut Groeneveld's strike as two rivals share the spoils in Brussels
- Dries Mertens puts Belgium ahead after five minutes on Tuesday in Brussels
- Forward Arnaut Groenveld scores the equalizer just 22 minutes later
- Both sides struggled to break each other's defensive line from then on
Arnaut Groeneveld celebrated his first start for the Netherlands by scoring a first-half equalizer Tuesday as the Dutch drew 1-1 with neighbor Belgium.
The 21-year-old midfielder who plays for Belgium's Club Bruges rounded off a flowing Dutch move in the 27th minute, controlling the ball with his left foot and shooting under Simon Mignolet with his right after Memphis Depay threaded between two Belgian defenders.
Dries Mertens had given Belgium an early lead with a powerful volley in the fifth minute or the 127th lowlands derby.
Dries Mertens scores the opener for Belgium after just five minutes of play in Brussels
Mertens was a mobbed as Belgium celebrated goal that put them in control of the match
But Holland responded 22 minutes when Arnaut Groeneveld (Danjuma) scored
Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman made six changes to the team that beat Germany 3-0 on Saturday, while Roberto Martinez made five changes from Friday's 2-1 victory over Switzerland
Belgium dominated the opening phase, barely allowing the Netherlands a touch of the ball as Eden Hazard orchestrated repeated attacks.
Mertens opened the scoring in just the fifth minute with a stinging volley after Donny van de Beek had headed clear a cross by Hazard.
Former Manchester United forward Memphis Depay was a handful all game for Belgium
Belgium boss Roberto Martinez delivers instructions to his players during Tuesday's game
Martinez substituted Hazard at halftime for his brother Thorgan and also rested Romelu Lukaku and Mertens for the second half of the match.
Defender Nathen Ake came close to scoring a winner in the 79th minute but his powerful header was well saved by Simon Mignolet. At the other end, Jasper Cillessen reacted quickly to save a snapshot by Michy Batshuayi in the 87th.
Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku both failed to get on the scoresheet on Tuesday night
Ronald Koeman and Martinez shake hands ahead or the international friendly in Brussels