Netherlands 3-0 England: Bloody rotten, quite frankly

Date published: Thursday 3rd August 2017 9:35

England saw their dreams of winning Women’s Euro 2017 shattered by a 3-0 semi-final loss to host nation Holland in their semi-final in Enschede.

Goals either side of half-time from Arsenal pair Vivianne Miedema and Danielle van de Donk secured victory for the vibrant Dutch before a last-gasp own goal from Millie Bright compounded England’s misery.

England were punished for a slow start by Miedema and there proved no way back after a costly mistake by Fara Williams, their confident campaign ending in a huge anti-climax.

Manager Mark Sampson was forced into two changes with injured goalkeeper Karen Bardsley replaced by Siobhan Chamberlain and the experienced Williams taking the place of suspended Jill Scott in midfield.

His side were rarely in the contest. Holland took the early initiative, clearly charged by the passionate support of the orange-clad fans that made up the majority of the sell-out crowd at FC Twente’s 30,000-capacity home.

The hosts won most of the 50-50 challenges and got onto the front foot, although England initially did a good job of repelling them.

Jade Moore provided a good screen for the back four and centre-backs Steph Houghton and Bright were solid.

Holland took to attacking down the right, where Demi Stokes was kept busy by pacey Liverpool forward Shanice van de Sanden.

This approach paid off midway through the first half as Jackie Groenen whipped in a dangerous cross and Miedema planted a firm header back across goal and inside the post.

That produced a strong response from England and within moments they hit the woodwork as a powerful header from Moore was blocked on the line by Sherida Spitse and deflected onto the post.

Houghton then curled a free-kick over and and a long-range effort from Lucy Bronze flew wide while Ellen White felt aggrieved to be denied a penalty after a challenge from Stephanie van der Gragt.

England made a positive start to the second half with tournament top scorer Jodie Taylor turning neatly and testing Sari van Veenendaal but Chamberlain made a better save at the other end to deny Van de Sanden.

There were signs of frustration as Moore was booked for a tackle on Van de Donk and Jordan Nobbs badly mistimed a challenge on Van der Gragt.

A mix-up in the Dutch defence presented an opportunity for White but she knew little about her effort as the ball rebounded off her and Van Veenendaal saved.

England were punished for their own defensive horror show just after the hour as Williams attempted to head back towards her own goal when seemingly under little pressure.

Houghton was caught unawares and Van de Donk pounced, beating Chamberlain to the ball and deftly touching home.

That proved the decisive blow for the Dutch.

Williams did not last much longer as Toni Duggan was sent on in the hope of resucing the game but it was not to be.

Taylor did fashion a good chance for herself but Van Veenendaal saved well.

Bright then diverted the ball into her own net with what proved the last kick of the game from a Renate Jansen shot.

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