Dundee United were well beaten by a fitter and stronger Vitesse Arnhem side in the first game of their pre-season tour of the Netherlands.
After a bright start in Driel, there were too many mistakes in the Tangerines’ play and they were punished by a side that is preparing for its Europa League campaign.
Manager Jackie McNamara said: “Results aren’t what matter most in these matches but I did think the four goals were preventable.
“We gave them a little bit of shooting practice at the start and there were bad decisions and errors.
“We should have scored a few goals ourselves tonight, though, and ought to have had a penalty when Ryan Dow was fouled.
“It is our first game against a quality side and there are things for us to work on.”
Neat play from the Tangerines nearly earned a goal on six minutes. Mark Durnan and John Souttar exchanged passes before the ball was fed back to Ryan McGowan. He found Dow, who saw his shot saved from close range by keeper Eloy Room. The United man was hurt badly, though, as the Vitesse goalie caught him.
United had started well and when Mario Bilate flicked a header on to Aidan Connolly, the wee midfielder let fly with a strike that just whizzed past.
Erskine then had a low shot save by Room but despite all the visitors’ promising play it was the Dutchmen who moved ahead on 14 minutes.
Serbian striker Uros Djurdjevic did well to control the ball inside the box before turning and shooting low past United keeper Marc McCallum.
Just three minutes later it was 2-0 to Arnhem and Djurdjevic was the scorer again.
It was a blunder from Durnan, who headed the ball back towards McCallum but misjudged the distance. In nipped Djurdjevic to shoot and, although the goalie got a touch on it, the ball sneaked inside the post.
The Serb nearly got his hat-trick on 28 minutes but United weren’t giving up.
Souttar drove forward before finding Connolly. His pass reached Erskine but the shot was well saved.
Just before the break, Connolly’s strike from outside the box was palmed away by Room.
United made five changes at half-time, with soon-to-sign Coll Donaldson, John Rankin, Ali Coote, Henri Anier and Robbie Muirhead all coming on.
Arnhem made it 3-0 on 54 minutes when Denys Oliinyk found the net, albeit there was a real suspicion of offside.
Donaldson then blocked brilliantly at the near post to prevent another goal but the Dutch made it four on 68 minutes.
It was a poor one from keeper McCallum’s perspective, with Valeri Qazaishvili’s shot from outside the box seeming to go straight through him. Dundee United: McCallum, McGowan, Dillon (Donaldson 46), Durnan, Dixon, Souttar (Rankin 46), Fraser, Erskine (Coote 46), Connolly (Anier 46), Dow (Spittal 15 rep by Spittal), Bilate (Muirhead 46). Subs not used: Zwick, Murray, Telfer.