WALES suffered a rare defeat in Cardiff after levelling and then conceding in their hair of the dog Nations League clash with the Netherlands.

Robert Page’s men looked set for a share of the spoils when Rhys Norrington-Davies headed home Connor Roberts’ cross in added time.

Yet they then conceded a similar strike with beanpole striker Wout Weghorst impressively restoring the Netherlands’ lead, adding to Teun Koopmeiners’ powerful finish from the edge of the box in the 50th minute to make it 2-1.

It was a dramatic ending to a game that was rather pedestrian for large periods, one that ultimately ended in a first home defeat since Denmark in November 2018.

Sunday evening’s World Cup-clinching heroics against Ukraine earned a party that went into Monday morning for Robert Page’s squad.

The boss rotated for the Group A4 clash at Cardiff City Stadium, dangling a carrot against the Oranje to some fringe members of his squad.

The Dutch, who made 11 changes after thrashing Belgium 4-1, made it 11 games unbeaten while Wales now focus on Saturday’s capital clash with the Red Devils before the trip to the Netherlands.

South Wales Argus: LEVEL: Rhys Norrington-Davies headed inLEVEL: Rhys Norrington-Davies headed in

They worked hard to earn promotion to Europe’s top tier but now could face a relegation scrap with Poland, who edged them out 2-1 in the opener but were given a 6-1 tonking by Belgium.

Page named four survivors from the Ukraine success with Ben Davies, Joe Rodon, Roberts and Daniel James asked to dig deep again. Gareth Bale was on the bench and would make a late cameo.

The Dutch dominated possession for two minutes but then promptly saw defender Jordan Teze cautioned for a crude block to prevent a James counter.

The visitors had the first opening after seven minutes when Rodon got caught in possession but they didn’t make the most of a three-on-two.

Wales responded with a pair of headers, Harry Wilson nodding wide from a corner before Norrington-Davies planted the ball well over the top after meeting a cross from the right.

Wilson had another effort after 24 minutes, more happily with his left boot from a free-kick, but the save out for a corner was a routine one for Mark Flekken.

The Welsh second string was looking sharper than the rotated Netherlands line-up yet it took sharp work by Davies, who picked up where he left off on Sunday, to deny Koopmeiners as he closed in on goal after 39 minutes.

The visitors were close to hitting the front on the stroke of half-time by going route one with the ball breaking for Cody Gakpo, whose shot took a bit deflection off Chris Mepham but went just past the left post.

Danny Ward was replaced by Adam Davies at half-time for the second successive Nations League clash, enjoying a clean sheet as he had in Poland.

South Wales Argus: OPENER: Teun Koopmeiners struckOPENER: Teun Koopmeiners struck

He was soon picking the ball out of the net after a neat move ended with Atalanta midfielder Koopmeiners driving powerfully into the bottom left from the edge of the box.

Wales responded well, albeit without forcing Flekken into action with James firing well over after doing well on the counter-attack after 66 minutes.

Davies was almost caught out by a cross with 19 minutes left but just got his paw up to clear with substitute Frenkie de Jong waiting to nod in.

Bale was introduced with 77 minutes on the clock in the bid for the leveller yet it was an unlikely hero at the death with Norrington-Davies climbing high to head in Roberts’ cross from the right.

Alas, there was still time for a Netherlands hero with Burnley targetman Weghorst - after Wales missed chances for professional fouls in the build-up - superbly heading in from Tyrell Malacia’s cross from the left.