Dundee United may have lost the second game of their Dutch tour to AZ Alkmaar but the good news is this was a decent display from Jackie McNamara’s men.
They also were able to give trialist midfielder Rodney Sneijder the last 15 minutes of the friendly in Dirkshorn and the brother of Holland superstar Wesley showed up well.
The former Ajax midfielder was composed on the ball and will get more match time when they face Utrecht on Thursday.
United’s goal came from Blair Spittal on 28 minutes but, sadly, the opposition just had too much on the night.
Aidan Connolly missed out through illness, while Ryan Dow’s dead leg meant he stayed back at the team hotel.
Goalkeeper Luis Zwick was in action for United on 10 minutes when he produced a great diving save to push away Steven Berghuis’s curling shot.
Six minutes later Sean Dillon blocked a shot from Markus Henriksen but the Swede was smiling on 21 minutes as AZ took the lead.
Robert Muhren picked out Guus Hupperts, whose shot was superbly saved by Zwick. Unfortunately for the German, though, the rebound fell for Henriksen who scored from close range.
The visitors were level on 28 minutes, however.
It was a great goal from Spittal who took a touch before blasting a left-foot shot into the AZ net from 25 yards.
On 34 minutes, Chris Erskine cut the ball across the face of goal but the boots of first Simon Murray then John Souttar just missed by an inch.
With half-time looming, Souttar almost capped a promising 45 minutes for the Tangerines when he blasted a 25-yarder just over the Alkmaar bar.
Murray had a shot saved as the second half got under way, before a Ryan McGowan header also threatened the AZ goal.
Zwick made a spectacular stop on 52 minutes to prevent a Muamer Tankovic shot bursting the net but he couldn’t keep out Derrick Luckassen’s long-range free-kick on 57 minutes as Alkmaar made it 2-1.
The substitutions came on 66 minutes when Scott Smith, Scott Fraser, Robbie Muirhead and Mark Durnan all arrived.
A Dillon head-flick almost pulled United level before Sneijder made his appearance from the bench on 75 minutes. He was joined by Mario Bilate, Ali Coote and Henri Anier.
AZ added to their lead on 78 minutes when Jeffrey Gouweleeauw scored from the penalty spot after a foul by Donaldson but there was no blame placed on Zwick, who will be a serious candidate for the gloves on a full-time basis if he plays like he did against AZ.
United: Zwick, McGowan (Bilate 75), Donaldson, Dillon, Dixon (Coote 75), Souttar (Fraser 66), Telfer (Trialist 75), Erskine (Smith 66), Rankin (Durnan 66), Spittal (Anier 75), Murray (Muirhead 66).