Sports

France beats Netherlands 3-2 in emotion-charged friendly

  • A banner with a picture of deceased legendary soccer player Johan Cruyff who played with number 14, is seen after players of the Dutch and French soccer squads observed a minute of silence in the 14th minute of the game during the international friendly soccer match between The Netherlands and France at the ArenA stadium in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Friday, March 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

    A banner with a picture of deceased legendary soccer player Johan Cruyff who played with number 14, is seen after players of the Dutch and French soccer squads observed a minute of silence in the 14th minute of the game during the international friendly soccer match between The Netherlands and France at the ArenA stadium in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Friday, March 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)  (The Associated Press)

  • Stewards frisk soccer fans as they enter the ArenA stadium ahead of the international friendly soccer match between The Netherlands and France in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Friday, March 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

    Stewards frisk soccer fans as they enter the ArenA stadium ahead of the international friendly soccer match between The Netherlands and France in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Friday, March 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)  (The Associated Press)

  • France’s Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring scores his side’s second goal as France’s Blaise Matuidi is seen left during a international friendly soccer match between The Netherlands and France at the ArenA stadium in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Friday, March 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

    France’s Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring scores his side’s second goal as France’s Blaise Matuidi is seen left during a international friendly soccer match between The Netherlands and France at the ArenA stadium in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Friday, March 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)  (The Associated Press)

France recovered from a Dutch rally to beat the Netherlands 3-2 on Friday, showing flashes of the attacking flair that will make it a serious contender at the European Championship later this year.

The Dutch showed second-half spirit in the international friendly but also the defensive frailties that saw them fail to qualify for the tournament.

The match was preceded by a minute's silence for victims of the Brussels bombings and halted in the 14th minute to pay tribute to Johan Cruyff — a day after the Ajax and Barcelona great lost his battle with lung cancer. Cruyff wore number 14 for Ajax, the club where he launched his career.

The Netherlands overcame a two-goal deficit before France captain Blaise Matuidi slotted in the winner in the 88th minute, two minutes after Ibrahim Afellay had levelled the scores.