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The four groups for this season's FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup have been announced.
Teams will play each other once in the group stage with each game being played to a conclusion.
If the result of a group match is a draw after 90 minutes then a penalty shootout will take place with points distributed as follows.
• Teams will receive 3 points for winning a group game in 90 minutes.
• Teams will receive 2 points if a group game is tied after 90 minutes and they win the penalty shootout.
• Teams will receive 1 point if a group game is tied after 90 minutes and they lose the penalty shootout.
The top two teams in each group progress to the quarter finals.
For the first time in women's football, this season's FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup will introduce the use of a fourth substitute that can be utilised during extra time of the knockout games if the match progresses beyond 90 minutes.
The Final is scheduled to take place on the weekend of 10/11 March 2018.
Manchester City won the competition the last time it was staged, in 2016, with a 1-0 extra time victory over Birmingham City in the Final.
The 2017-18 constitution for the South West League is as follows:
Fara Williams, the highest capped England player of all time, has signed for Reading FC Women on a two-year deal from Arsenal.
On signing for the Royals, Williams said: "Last year watching the style of football, it's an attractive style that I think suits the way I enjoy playing. Reading are a developing team and they've come a long way in the past few seasons in the WSL.
"I'm hoping to win trophies here, I'm not here to make up numbers, and Kelly is not a manager that is satisfied finishing below the top four. The club wants to win trophies and I want to be a part of it. I knew when I finished the league last year with Arsenal that Reading was the only club that I wanted to come to. I spoke to Mary (Earps) last season and I've had some good conversations with her, she only spoke highly of the club."
Manager Kelly Chambers commented: "Signing Fara shows where the club is at now, and our ambition of where we want to go. We want to be competing with the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City at the top of the table and bringing in the likes of Fara will help us do that. We need players like Fara with experience to add to our ambition and our drive because she still has that, which is fantastic."
The 33-year old midfielder, who has amassed a record 165 senior appearances for England, arrives at Reading with a glittering career record.
The playmaker has featured for the Lionesses in four European Championships and three World Cups, while also representing Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympics.
Domestically, Williams has won two FA Women's Premier League Cups (one with Charlton and one with Everton) two FA WSL1 titles (both with Liverpool) and two Women's FA Cups (one with Everton and one with Arsenal). Additionally, Williams was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 2016 New Year Honours for her services to football and charity.
Yeovil Town Ladies FC have retained the services of shot stopper Megan Walsh for the 2017-18 FA Women's Super League season.
Walsh who joined Yeovil last season from Notts County, made her debut against Bristol City Women at The Viridor Stadium and went on to play in goal for the reminder of the Spring Series.
Goalkeeper Megan Walsh, who is an England Under-23 player, is currently in Taipei where she is representing Great Britain at the World University Games and will joining back up with the Somerset side upon her return at the end of August.
Since joining the club in May, Walsh made a total of six appearances and fans soon took to her, after some excellent displays in the Yeovil goal. These performances were noticed and recognised, as she was voted as the 2017 Spring Series Supporters Player of the Season, receiving over 30 percent of the votes.
Speaking about remaining at the club, Walsh said: "I'm really excited to be at Yeovil this year for what will be a challenging season.
"The resilience and determination from the girls showcases what this team is all about and I can't wait for the season to begin."
Manager Jamie Sherwood spoke highly of Walsh, saying: "Megan [Walsh] was a standout player from the 2017 Spring Series. She wants to reach the very top of the game and I know she will put in the hard work which it requires.
"I am delighted to see her return as she adds further steel, determination and experience to the young, energetic and motivated squad.
"This is another signing to show that we are here to compete and challenge and not just take part in the winter programme."
The 2017-18 constitution for the North West League is as follows:
All three of the British countries have gone out of the UEFA Women's Under-19 Championships, but two of them still have a big prize to play for.
England needed to win their final group match against France in order to qualify for the semi finals, but the resulting 1-0 defeat that they have ended up in third place. However, due to France being the hosts of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup next year, there is an extra place on offer from Europe in that tournament and England will therefore play-off against the team finishing third in Group A.
That team will be no less than Scotland, who also suffered a narrow 1-0 reverse at the hands of Spain and this result was enough to give them third place on goal difference, ahead of hosts Northern Ireland who were beaten 6-0 by Germany.
Coming into the match with a win and a defeat in their previous two Group B encounters, Mo Marley's side needed to defeat Les Bleues to prolong their stay at the Euros, and although they were on top throughout, they fell to Lina Boussaha's 88th minute winner.
England carved out a number of half chances but the closest they came to scoring was when Alessia Russo curled a second half free kick goalwards to force an excellent save from Mylene Chavas, who stretched to palm the ball over the bar. Megan Finnigan had a good opportunity blocked with fifteen minutes remaining, before Boussaha struck the late blow.
Scotland were in the same position as England in that a win would have been enough to take them through, and things remained nicely in the balance when the scoreline was goalless at half time.
However, ten minutes into the second half, Patricia Guijarro gave Spain the lead and despite a late Scotland rally, they were not able to get back on level terms and Spain closed the game out to book their place in the last four.
Northern Ireland meanwhile faced a very tough prospect in needing to beat Germany to stand any chance of going through and despite a battling performance from Alfie Wylie's side, the Germans proved too strong for them. In front of more than 1,700 fans at Ballymena, Klara Buhl scored twice along with Annalena Rieke, Kristin Kogel, Caroline Siems and Anna Gerhardt but Northern Ireland can reflect on their first ever appearance in the Finals of a major women's tournament with heads held high.
The fifth place play off will take place at Lurgan on Thursday evening (7pm) and the two semi finals are played on the same day. The Netherlands take on Spain and Germany play France in the other semi final.
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Georgia Allen is surrounded by Pauline Dechilly and Sana Daoudi
(bottom) Brenna McPartlan slides in to tackle Kristin Kogel, watched by Klara Buhl
London Bees are delighted to announce the signing of forward Rosie Kmita.
23-year-old Kmita, formerly of Brighton & Hove Albion, has been training with the side during pre-season and is ready to get the season started with London Bees.
"I'm really pleased to have joined London Bees," she said. "What attracted me most to The Bees was the professional environment.
"My expectations of the season are high, I think it will be real success. We've been working really hard in training and the demand from Luke and the coaching team has been high. I feel we will be more than ready as a group of players for when the season starts.
"The girls, if I'm honest, were one of the main reasons I was so set on joining London Bees from the start. They have all welcomed me into the group and the environment in the changing room and around training is perfect. They are all lovely girls and when it comes to training they work hard so the balance is just right. It feels like we're all pulling in the same direction which is a great feeling to have around the club.
"I'm most looking forward to the challenge of playing with and against great players. I think in order to grow and reach your full potential you have to surround yourself with those type of players so from an individual perspective that will be great for me. I'm also looking forward to spending time with the team and integrating myself more into the group."
Head coach Luke Swindlehurst has spoken of his delight at securing another new face during pre-season: "Rosie is a really good character and her positive attitude along with hard work and technical ability makes her another valued member of the squad.
"She has genuine pace, which in the modern game is vital to have within the squad. I'm confident Rosie will make a big impact at London Bees and we all welcome her to The Hive in this exciting period of the club's history."
The 2017-18 constitution for the North East League is as follows:
Liverpool Ladies FC can confirm that Katie Zelem has completed a transfer to join Serie A Femminile side Juventus Women.
Attacking midfielder Zelem has been a regular in the Liverpool Ladies squad since joining from Manchester United in 2013, winning back to back Women's Super League titles in 2013 and 2014.
On the transfer to Turin, Zelem said: "I have had a wonderful four years since signing for Liverpool Ladies and will take away some great memories. I would like to thank everyone involved with Liverpool Football Club, including all of the staff and the fantastic supporters who are amongst the best supporters in the country.
"I have been at Liverpool Ladies for a few years now, so I felt as though I needed a new challenge. Having considered all my options, I feel as though moving to Juventus Women presents me with a new challenge as well as the opportunity to play abroad which is a really exciting one."
Everyone at Liverpool Ladies thanks Katie for her valuable contribution since joining the club and wishes her the best of luck for the future.
Northern Ireland battled back to earn themselves a 1-1 draw against Scotland in the second round of group matches in the UEFA Women's Under-19 Championships.
Both teams went into the game having been beaten in their openers and it was Northern Ireland who went close early on when Megan Bell curled a free kick just wide. Scotland hit back with Kirsty Hanson's chip drifting just over, Claire Adams' drive being touched onto the bar by Perry and Amy Gallacher firing narrowly wide but an evenly contested first half ended with the scoreline goalless.
Within a minute of the restart, Scotland opened the scoring when Gallacher played in Hanson on goal and she drilled a low shot past Lauren Perry to give her side the lead.
Northern Ireland responded to the setback with Rebecca Bassett shooting just wide but Scotland continued to look dangerous when going forward. Adams again tested Perry from distance with a strike which was tipped past the post and Donna Paterson headed inches over from a corner.
The host nation were not to be denied though and they battled back to level the scores with four minutes remaining. Megan Reilly's corner was met by Louise McDaniel who powered home a header from close range, to register Northern Ireland's first ever goal in a senior women's tournament.
Bassett might even have won it in injury time when her shot was saved by Rebecca Flaherty but both teams had to settle for a point which keeps them both in the tournament.
Germany meanwhile defeated Spain 2-0 with goals from Luca Maria Graf and Dina Orschmann to ensure that they have qualified for the semi finals with one match to play. This leaves Northern Ireland needing to beat Germany to stand any chance of going through, meanwhile if Scotland can repeat their senior team's victory over Spain last month, they will be likely to be in the last four.
England's place in the tournament also remains in the balance after they were beaten 2-0 by the Netherlands, who are already in the semi finals following this result.
The Oranje started strongly and took the lead with eleven minutes on the clock, Aniek Nouwen heading home a corner from Sabajo. It could have been two moments later, as a patient Dutch build up culimated with them feeding winger Ashleigh Weerden, who fired an effort over the bar.
Holland finished the first half strongly as Joelle Smits was denied by a good block from Grace Fisk, but Smits was to have the last laugh as she was put through by a Pelova pass and applied a calm finish for the second.
England came more into the game after the break but never really threatened a breakthrough against a well organised Dutch defence. They came closest to pulling a goal back when Niamh Charles just shot wide after exchanging passes with Ellie Brazil and Georgia Allen's shot was saved by Lize Kop, but the Netherlands never looked like surrendering their lead.
France cruised to a 6-1 victory over Italy in the other group game, meaning that Mo Marley's side must beat Les Bleuses in their final match if they are to go through to the semi finals.
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Ellie Brazil is tackled by Kay-Lee de Sanders
(bottom) Niamh Charles goes close for England
The 2017-18 constitution for the London & South East League is as follows:
Fulham FC Foundation
London Kent Football Utd
Bristol City Women are delighted to announce the loan signing of goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley from Birmingham City.
Baggaley, 20, joined the Blue Girls in 2014 and has gone on to make 18 appearances to date for the Midlands outfit.
An England youth international, Baggaley has represented her country at Under-17, 19, 20 and 23 level, and recently won the Nordic Cup with the Under-23 squad.
On her move to the West Country, the young shot stopper says she is excited about the prospect of working with manager Willie Kirk and goalkeeping coach Neil Moore.
She said: "When I heard the Vixens were interested in taking me on loan I didn't hesitate to come down, look at the facilities and meet the coaching staff.
"My aim for this season is to play as much as I can and develop under a manager that values youth development, which is a massive draw of this club.
"Caitlin Leach and Aimee Watson are fantastic keepers and I am looking forward to us spurring each other on and bringing out the best in one another in the season ahead."
Kirk said of his latest recruit: "The plan was always to bring in another goalkeeper for the 2017-18 WSL 1 season to add competition to that area. By bringing in Sophie we have certainly done that.
"She is an extremely hard working goalkeeper, who is technically very good and has strong distribution. I am excited to see how far both Sophie and Caitlin can push each other.
"We also have young Aimee, who shall continue to work hard in training with the first team and carry on developing."
The 2017-18 constitution for the Eastern Region League is as follows:
It turned out to be a day of mixed fortunes for the British teams in the opening round of the UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship Finals in Northern Ireland with one win and two defeats from the three matches played.
England were the only victors on the day, with a 2-1 success against Italy at Mourneview Park. The first half was very evenly contested with few clear cut opportunities at either end, with Rinsola Babajide having a shot blocked and Mollie Rouse firing wide from distance.
After the break, the deadlock was broken when Georgia Allen followed up to score after Ellie Brazil's initial attempt had been saved by Alessia Piazza. Chloe Peplow went close to extending England's lead but fifteen minutes from time, a counter attack saw Allen latch on to Brazil's pass before finishing clinically for her second goal. Chloe Kelly was denied by a good save from Piazza but despite a late scare when Annamarie Serturini pulled one back, they closed the game out for a winning start.
England are next in action on Friday against the Netherlands, who kept up the feelgood factor in their country by beating France 2-0, both goals coming in the first half via Victoria Pevlova and a Julie Piga own goal.
It was a historic day for Northern Ireland as hosts of the tournament and they took on Spain in their opener at Windsor Park in front of a crowd of 4,289. Theirs was a very tough start but they emerged with heads held high after going down 2-0 to the highly fancied Spaniards, who have been runners-up in this competition in each of the last three years.
Northern Ireland came under early pressure but were able to keep things tight overall but were undone by a fine move on the half hour. Laura Maria Perez had looked in good form and sped down the right, making her way into the area before sliding the ball across goal for Lucia Garcia to tuck the ball home from point blank range.
Nuria Rabano drove a shot over after a good run took her past two defenders but Northern Ireland determinedly kept themselves in the game and were one goal behind at the interval.
After the restart, Spain continued to push forward and they increased their lead in the 53rd minute in fine style, a 30-yard volley from captain Patricia Gujarro which gave Northern Ireland goalkeeper Lauren Perry absolutely no chance.
Damaris Egurrola went close to a third when she blazed over, before the impressive Megan Bell produced a fabulous moment which brought the home crowd to life, picking the ball up just outside her own penalty area and embarking on a driving run which saw her get past five challenges before setting up a chance for Abbie Magee whose well struck shot brought out a fine save from Noelia Ramos.
Northern Ireland must now set their sights on a meeting with Scotland, a match given extra significance as they also lost their opening game, 3-0 to Germany. Giulia Gwinn put the Germans in front on 19 minutes when she drilled home from just inside the area and a hard working Scottish side were breached for a second time just before the interval, Laura Freigang's inswinging corner being headed in from close range by Annalena Rieke. The second half was more open with Rebecca Flaherty having an excellent match in goal for Scotland, but she was to be beaten once more with ten minutes remaining, Ereleta Memeti heading firmly in from a Dina Orschmann cross.
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Scotland's Samantha Kerr is tackled by Lisa Schoppl
(bottom) Northern Ireland defender Teresa Burns makes a firm challenge on Ana Marcos Moral
Queen's Park Rangers Ladies are hoping to help raise vital funds for recovering former player Leah Taylor at Wednesday night's pre-season friendly with Actonians.
Leah, who spent several years previously with Rangers, suffered a potentially life-changing accident after a serious fall at home last month.
The fall left Leah requiring emergency surgery on her neck and, without the quick response and efforts of paramedics and A&E staff, she would have been left paraplegic.
Following surgery, Leah is recovering at the Royal London Hospital and starting physiotherapy. However, with a three month waiting time for a bed in a specialist rehabilitation centre her surgeon has recommended that she is transferred to a private centre to give her the best chance of one day walking again.
The costs have been estimated to be £1,500 per week - and her family are therefore hoping to raise enough money to provide Leah with a minimum of six-weeks private rehab whilst waiting for her NHS bed.
"We're all shocked and saddened to hear of Leah's accident and the seriousness of it," QPR Ladies manager Martino Chevannes told www.qprlfc.co.uk.
"It's going to be a long process but we hope that she makes a full recovery. Hopefully this game will help towards raising the money needed for her rehabilitation."
Leah, a left back, came up against Rangers with Actonians twice in cup competitions last season, whilst many of the current R's squad played alongside her during her time at the club.
"Leah was a very committed, skilful, tenacious and focused member of the squad," Chevannes said. "She always had a great attitude and gave 100 per cent in everything she did.
"All our thoughts are with her and her family."
Leah's QPR-supporting family are hoping to raise £9,000 to fund Leah's ongoing specialist rehabilitation costs.
You can show your support by donating at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/leahwillwalkagain.
Wednesday's friendly is taking place at North Greenford United, kick off 7.45pm.
Manchester City will start their defence of the FA WSL title with a trip to Huish Park to play Yeovil Town on the opening day of the new season.
Spring Series title winners Chelsea have a home game against Bristol City - their first match at the Kingsmeadow Stadium - whilst Arsenal will take on Birmingham City. There will be a Merseyside derby with Everton up against Liverpool and Reading FC Women play host to Sunderland.
League newcomers Tottenham Hotspur face a long journey to play their first ever match in the league, away to Durham Women, whilst Hope Powell's first match in charge of Brighton & Hove Albion will be at Aston Villa.
Opening day fixtures (Sunday 24th September):
FA WSL 1
Arsenal v Birmingham City
Chelsea v Bristol City
Everton v Liverpool (4pm)
Reading FC Women v Sunderland
Yeovil Town v Manchester City
FA WSL 2
Aston Villa v Brighton & Hove Albion
Durham Women v Tottenham Hotspur (12pm)
London Bees v Doncaster Rovers Belles
Millwall Lionesses v Watford
Oxford Utd v Sheffield FC
Denmark 2 (Nadim pen 6, Harder 33)>
Netherlands 4 (Miedema 10,89, Martens 28, Spitse 51)
Denmark 2 (Nadim pen 6, Harder 33)
It was a day to remember for the host nation as the Netherlands were crowned Champions of Europe for the first time after beating Denmark in a pulsating Final in front of a sell out 28,182 in Enschede.
The Dutch had gathered momentum as the tournament had gone along but were pushed all the way by Denmark whose resistance was not broken until very late in the game.
Holland made early forays down both flanks but they were to be stunned with five minutes on the clock as Sanna Troelsgaard reacted quickest to a loose ball in the area and was brought down by Kike van Es. A penalty was awarded and Nadia Nadim found the top corner with expert precision to send Denmark into an early lead.
Danish joy was to last for just four minutes though, a superb pass down the right from Jackie Groenen was latched onto by Shanice van de Sanden who sped away from Cecilie Sandvej before her low cross was tucked home from six yards by Vivienne Miedema.
Shortly afterwards, a carbon copy almost led to a second Dutch goal, this time van de Sanden's centre picked out Lieke Martens at the far post but Stine Lykke Petersen was able to save at the second attempt.
Much of Denmark's best play was coming via captain Pernille Harder and a brilliant turn took her away from Desiree van Lunteren on the touchline, but no team mate was on hand to turn in her resulting cross.
Play was flowing from end to end at hectic pace and it was no surprise when the next goal came just before the half hour. It was the Dutch who took the lead for the first time, van Lunteren's pass finding Martens on the edge of the area where she spun and hit an accurate shot beyond the dive of Petersen and into the far corner.
Denmark's response was swift; Troelsgaard's defence splitting pass released Nadim on goal but Sari van Veenendaal came to her side's rescue with a vital save. However there was nothing she could do on 33 minutes as Maja Kildemoes' pass released Harder with a perfectly timed run down the right, she then cut inside a challenge from Anouk Dekker before unleashing a left footed snap shot which beat a wrong footed van Veenendaal at her near post. Remarkably, this was the supremely talented playmaker's first goal of the tournament.
With their tails up, Denmark finished the half strongly with Katrine Veje bringing out a save from van Veenendaal but the whistle went with the score level at 2-2 and everybody was able to take a breather.
The second half began with both teams still intent on attack and there was to be another early goal. After Danielle van de Donk was brought down on the edge of the area, Sherida Spitse sidefooted her shot past a static Petersen and into the corner of the net, to put the hosts back in front again.
Van Es curled a shot inches wide as the Dutch sought a fourth goal and Denmark were coming under increasing pressure. A Martens cross from the left was only helped on by Stine Larsen at the near post and picked out Miedema whose volley brought out a brilliant point blank save by Petersen to keep her side in the game.
Denmark hit back with Veje turning a shot narrowly past the post after Harder had done well to win the ball and cross. Groenen fired a shot just wide at the other end as the Dutch once again began to take control of matters.
Although they had been pinned back for much of the second half, the Danes needed to press forward to try and take the game into extra time. Their efforts were almost rewarded with seven minutes remaining as a corner was cleared as far as Troelsgaard whose 20-yard volley looked destined for the back of the net but swerved inches wide at the last moment.
Dutch nerves were starting to show as Denmark pressed forward but with two minutes left, a long ball from Spitse picked out Miedema who drew the challenge of Frederikke Thogersen before jinking past her and powering a shot past Petersen for her second goal on the day.
Denmark still did not give up but the game was finally over for them and they deserve a lot of praise, not only for their contribution to a magnificent Final, but also for their best ever performance in the tournament after so many semi final defeats. The Netherlands though are more than worthy winners of the tournament and with so many young, talented players in their ranks, this should not be the last time we see them pick up silverware in the years to come.
Sari van Veenendaal, Desiree van Lunteren (sub Dominique Jansson 57mins), Kike van Es (sub Mandy van den Berg 90mins), Jackie Groenen, Stephanie van der Gragt, Anouk Dekker, Shanice van de Sanden (sub Renate Jansen 89mins), Sherida Spitse, Vivienne Miedema, Danielle van de Donk, Lieke Martens.
Stine Lykke Petersen, Theresa Nielsen, Cecilie Sandvej, Maja Kildemoes (sub Frederikke Thogersen 61mins), Simone Boye Sorensen (sub Line Roddik 77mins), Sofie Pedersen (sub Nanna Christiansen 82mins), Sanne Troelsgaard, Stine Larsen, Nadia Nadim, Pernille Harder, Katrine Veje.
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Penalty! Sanne Troelsgaard about to be brought down by Kike van Es
(middle) Vivienne Miedema thumps home her first half equaliser
(bottom) The present (and future?) is orange...Champions of Europe
Following a complete refurbishment of the Stadium, Clubhouse and installation of a new FIFA PRO50 3G pitch at Court Place Farm, Oxford Football Partnership's Stadium Manager Frank Thompson is ready to welcome Oxford United Women to the facility.
Thompson stated: "A lot of hard work and planning has gone into this project over a long period of time which has now come to fruition, creating one of the best football facilities in the home counties.
"With the current focus very much on women's football, this will be a great boost for the Girls and Ladies teams playing here.
"We hope that all sides benefit from the playing surface and have a successful season."
The yellows move from their previous ground Abingdon United FC to their new home Oxford City FC. Ruth Senior, Women's general manager, said: "We'd firstly like to thank Abingdon United FC for all their hard work and support over the years. John and Debbie Blackmore and their family have done so much for the team and without their support, we wouldn't be here today.
"The move to Oxford City FC marks an exciting new chapter for the women's Team. As a team, we are grateful for all the continuing support our board has given us over the past few months, allowing us to play at a top class facility. It also brings us a step closer to sustainability and provides some unique opportunities to improve our fan engagement and match day experience.
"We are delighted to partner with Oxford City FC, who have such a rich history of women's football, and look forward to working together to increase the profile of female football in Oxfordshire. I'd personally like to thank the staff at Oxford City for making us feel so welcome over the first couple of weeks during pre-season."
The 2017-18 constitution for the East Midlands League is as follows:
Netherlands 3 (Miedema 22, van de Donk 62, Bright og 90) England 0
England's dream of a second Final in three tournaments were brought to a crashing end in Enschede as the host nation were too strong on the night and avenged their defeat at this stage eight years ago.
England were forced into two changes in their starting line up with Siobhan Chamberlain replacing broken leg victim Karen Bardsley in goal, while Fara Williams came in for the suspended Jill Scott.
The Dutch made their usual fast start to the game but without seriously threatening England as they kept things tight at the back during the opening stages. Danielle van de Donk shot wide and Steph Houghton made a good headed clearance from a Desiree van Lunteren cross but Chamberlain had not been tested too much until this point.
However on 22 minutes, the Dutch produced a superb move which led to the breakthrough. Lieke Martens cut in from the left to plant a great crossfield pass into the path of Jackie Groenen whose pinpoint cross picked out Vivienne Miedema, the striker heading back across goal and inside the post to send the home crowd into raptures.
England's response to going behind was good, Jade Moore powering a header goalwards from a corner but Sherida Spitse was on hand to clear off the line via a post. Houghton and Lucy Bronze both shot wide but the Dutch rode out the storm and began to dominate the midfield areas again, with van de Donk and Groenen pulling the strings.
Jordan Nobbs saw a free kick comfortably saved by Sari van Veenendaal and the host nation went into the interval holding their one-goal lead.
Both teams exchanged shots at the start of the second half but it took a brilliant save from Chamberlain to keep England one goal behind, diving full length to her right to tip away a shot on the turn from Shanice van de Sanden. The Netherlands were starting to pick up momentum again, although at the other end van Veenendaal was forced to make a smart save when Anouk Dekker's clearance cannoned off Ellen White and bounced back goalwards.
However disaster was to strike for England just after the hour, and a moment which is likely to haunt Williams for some time to come. Following a Groenen free kick, the England defence looked to have dealt with the initial problem but Williams misdirected her header back to the keeper and van de Donk, still coming back from the original attack, stole in to cleverly dink the ball over Chamberlain and put her side two ahead.
England were forced into attack now with Fran Kirby having a shot charged down from a corner, and White did well to beat van Veenendaal to a long ball forward but her poked effort was just off target.
The introductions of Toni Duggan and Karen Carney did give England a bit more life and potency going forward but they were still struggling to carve out a clear opportunity against a Dutch defence which was giving its best display of the tournament. Jodie Taylor had been largely starved of service but with eight minutes remaining, the prolific striker had the chance she craved; created by herself with a clever turn past Dekker on the edge of the area but she sent her shot straight at van Veenendaal and Kelly Zeeman was able to prevent Taylor from setting up White from the rebound.
Spitse made a second goal line clearance from a corner, this time from Duggan, but by now the game was up for England as they were running out of time. With so many players pushed forward, England were always going to be vulnerable on the break and this was to be proved with three minutes remaining as Miedema drove towards the England goal and released Martens in the area. Martens' attempted return ball to Miedema took a huge deflection off an unfortunate Millie Bright and past a wrong footed Chamberlain for the third goal; there was no time to restart as the whole Dutch squad ran on the pitch to celebrate a memorable victory for themselves.
England had gone into the tournament on a high and into the match as favourites to lift the trophy, however they have fallen short after being beaten by a better side. On the other hand, the Dutch have got better and better as the tournament has gone along and now only Denmark stand in the way of them lifting the trophy for the first time.
Sari van Veenendaal, Desiree van Lunteren, Stephanie van der Gragt (sub Kelly Leeman 70mins), Jackie Groenen, Kika van Es, Anouk Dekker, Shanice van de Sanden (sub Renate Jansen 89mins), Sherida Spitse, Vivienne Miedema, Danielle van de Donk (sub Jill Roord 90mins), Lieke Martens.
Siobhan Chamberlain, Lucy Bronze, Demi Stokes, Jade Moore (sub Karen Carney 76mins), Steph Houghton, Millie Bright, Jordan Nobbs, Fran Kirby, Jodie Taylor, Fara Williams (sub Toni Duggan 67mins), Ellen White.
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Jordan Nobbs hurdles a challenge from Kika van Es
(middle) Fran Kirby takes on Anouk Dekker
(bottom) Ellen White pokes a shot past Sari van Veenendaal but just wide
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