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Dutch delight but agony for England
 Women's Football Euros News - 5 Aug 2017
Euros News - Dutch delight but agony for England - 5 Aug 2017 - Women's Football NewsNetherlands 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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