Leeds United's Dan James proves catalyst but Noa Lang dazzles before late heartache for Dragons

Leeds United's Dan James proved a catalyst for Wales in Holland yet Tuesday's Nations League clash ended in late heartache for Rob Page's side as Noa Lang shone for the hosts.
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Wales boss Page gave Gareth Bale a rest for the Rotterdam fixture and James started upfront alongside Nottingham Forest's Brennan Johnson who often dropped deeper into a no 10 role.

James' pace helped Wales win an eighth-minute corner as Matthijs De Ligt was forced to clear but the Dutch went ahead in superb fashion in the 17th minute as Lang produced a brilliant turn on the edge of the box followed by a venomous finish.

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The hosts were dominating and Louis van Gaal's side doubled their lead just five minutes later through Cody Gakpo who tucked home a neat finish from just inside the box following a surging run at the Wales defence who failed to clear his first attempt which was blocked.

IMPACT: From Leeds United's Wales international forward Dan James, above, in Tuesday night's Nations League clash against Netherlands in Rotterdam.
Photo by Perry vd Leuvert/NESImages/DeFodi Images via Getty Images.IMPACT: From Leeds United's Wales international forward Dan James, above, in Tuesday night's Nations League clash against Netherlands in Rotterdam.
Photo by Perry vd Leuvert/NESImages/DeFodi Images via Getty Images.
IMPACT: From Leeds United's Wales international forward Dan James, above, in Tuesday night's Nations League clash against Netherlands in Rotterdam. Photo by Perry vd Leuvert/NESImages/DeFodi Images via Getty Images.

Wales, though, pulled a goal back just three minutes later and James played a key role in starting the move that led to the goal.

The Leeds forward's press harried Jordan Teze into losing possession on halfway and Harry Wilson played in Johnson who applied a neat finish into the bottom left corner.

But the Netherlands continued to impress, Lang dazzling with his quick feet and skill in the final third.

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James continued his attempts to press the dominant hosts after the break and the Whites man took a Wales free-kick to the left of the box but the forward played the set piece short and Netherlands cleared.

James and Johnson linked up again in the 58th minute, Johnson surging forward and seeing his firm low shot saved.

But the hosts squandered more chances to add to their lead, Lang continually causing bother and James was taken off in the 70th minute as Bale was introduced.

Wales finished with a flourish and the Dragons were awarded a last-minute penalty after Connor Roberts was barged over by Tyrell Malacia.

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Bale took the spot kick and duly rifled home his effort into the bottom right corner yet the hosts went straight back up the other end and netted a 94th-minute through Memphis Depay as Wales failed to clear a long ball.

Elsewhere on Tuesday evening, United's Mateusz Klich was brought on in the 70th minute for Poland who were beaten 1-0 by Nations League visitors Belgium in Warsaw.

Whites captain Liam Cooper was not involved for Scotland in their Tuesday tea time clash against Nations League hosts Armenia in which Steve Clarke's side sealed a 4-1 triumph.

Scotland boss Steve Clarke revealed before Saturday's clash against Ireland that Cooper had left the squad early to get married.