Women's European Championship

Women's Euro 2017: England knocked out in semi-finals by Netherlands

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport in Enschede

England suffered semi-final heartbreak for the second consecutive major tournament as they were beaten 3-0 by Euro 2017 hosts the Netherlands.

The defeat will represent devastating failure for the Lionesses, who had targeted a first major trophy as their sole aim from the tournament.

Having lost their 2015 World Cup semi-final to Japan thanks to an injury-time own goal, individual errors again proved decisive.

The Dutch had already taken a 1-0 lead thanks to Vivianne Miedema's first-half header when Fara Williams's poor header was seized on by Danielle van de Donk.

And another stoppage-time own goal sealed England's fate when Mille Bright turned in Lieke Martens' shot.

Jade Moore hit the post and England wasted several good second-half chances, but they could not pierce the hosts' defence.

Although reaching the last four may be deemed as a relative success in some eyes, and despite becoming the first England manager since Sir Alf Ramsey to reach two consecutive major tournament semi-finals, Mark Sampson and his players felt they could win the competition.

After finishing as the top European team in the World Cup, and being the highest ranked team left at Euro 2017, they seemed well set to take another step on the road to their ambition of becoming the "world's number one team".

But they were well beaten by a Dutch team which were technically superior, led by Van de Donk, and roared on by a record crowd of 27,093 for a women's football match in the Netherlands.

The Dutch will now be favourites to beat Denmark in their first European Championship final, while England will have to regroup for the 2019 World Cup in France, perhaps having wasted their best chance of silverware with this group of players.

England outclassed by Netherlands' Arsenal contingent

England were called a "long-ball" team by their opponents in the build-up to this game, which was a repeat of the Euro 2009 semi-final, and for periods in the game they looked one-dimensional.

Fara Williams
The semi-final defeat could yet be a sad end to Williams' distinguished England career

By contrast, the Dutch were more patient on the ball and in Van de Donk, they had a midfielder who pulled the strings before she put the game beyond England's reach with an opportunistic finish.

The fact that she took advantage of a mistake by her Arsenal team-mate Williams, who tried to nod back to Siobhan Chamberlain, will make it tough on the England midfielder, who could yet end a 16-year international career on a sour note.

Williams, who has amassed a record 165 caps including the Euro 2009 semi-final where England beat the Netherlands, has only been a bit-part player in this campaign but replaced the suspended Jill Scott in midfield.

But when the 33-year-old returns to training at her club she will also be given another reminder of a torrid England night after Miedema recently signed for the Gunners.

The 21-year-old striker, who now has 43 international goals, powered in a back-post header to show the kind of ruthlessness that England were missing.

Rusty England fail to fire

For all the Dutch possession, England did limit them to few chances and the Netherlands' twin threats down the wings - Martens and Shanice van de Sanden - were largely kept quiet until Martens forced a late own goal from Bright to seal England's misery.

Despite missing Scott's energy in midfield, Sampson's team were not as clinical as previously seen at Euro 2017, where they have become the tournament's top scorers, and they paid a heavy price.

Once Miedema had opened the scoring, Moore hit the post from a deflected header and Ellen White had a good penalty appeal turned down. Sampson was so animated in his reaction that he ripped his shirt.

But England rarely tested Sari van Veenendaal - another Arsenal player - in the Dutch goal.

Jodie Taylor also shot straight at her Gunners club-mate from close range late on, but could still finish as the tournament top scorer with five goals.

But that will be no consolation to her or an England team who failed to take advantage of their ranking and who beat the Netherlands in Tilburg last November.

Player of the match - Danielle van de Donk (Netherlands)

Danielle van de Donk
Danielle van de Donk (right) was the game's outstanding player, finding time and space with ease throughout

'I've made some mistakes'

Mark Sampson
Mark Sampson replaced Hope Powell as England boss in 2013

England head coach Mark Sampson: "Over the course of the tournament, we have been one of the of best teams here. But, in tournament football, small things can make a big difference.

"I made some mistakes, for sure. I'll go away and reflect. I'll look at it all and then do a better job next time.

"We didn't get the decisions. But I'm incredibly proud of the players tonight.

"They've worked so, so hard over the past year."



Formation 4-3-3

  • 1van Veenendaal
  • 2van LunterenBooked at 13mins
  • 6Dekker
  • 3van der GragtSubstituted forZeemanat 70'minutes
  • 5van Es
  • 14Groenen
  • 10van de DonkBooked at 59minsSubstituted forRoordat 90+2'minutes
  • 8Spitse
  • 7van de SandenSubstituted forJansenat 89'minutes
  • 9Miedema
  • 11Martens


  • 4van den Berg
  • 12Roord
  • 13Jansen
  • 15Folkertsma
  • 16Christ
  • 17Zeeman
  • 18Lewerissa
  • 19van den Bulk
  • 20Janssen
  • 21Beerensteyn
  • 22van der Most
  • 23Geurts


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Chamberlain
  • 2Bronze
  • 5Houghton
  • 16BrightBooked at 15mins
  • 3Stokes
  • 11MooreBooked at 47minsSubstituted forCarneyat 76'minutes
  • 10WilliamsSubstituted forDugganat 67'minutes
  • 7Nobbs
  • 23Kirby
  • 18White
  • 9Taylor


  • 6Potter
  • 8Christiansen
  • 12Stoney
  • 14Carney
  • 15Bassett
  • 17Parris
  • 19Duggan
  • 20Greenwood
  • 21Telford
  • 22Scott
Stéphanie Frappart

Match Stats

Home TeamNetherlandsAway TeamEngland
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Netherlands Women 3, England 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Netherlands Women 3, England 0.

  3. Goal!

    Own Goal by Millie Bright, England. Netherlands Women 3, England 0.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lieke Martens (Netherlands Women) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

  5. Post update

    Offside, England. Jordan Nobbs tries a through ball, but Jodie Taylor is caught offside.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Netherlands Women. Jill Roord replaces Daniëlle van de Donk.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Francesca Kirby (England) left footed shot from outside the box is too high following a set piece situation.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Kika van Es (Netherlands Women).

  9. Post update

    Karen Carney (England) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  10. Post update

    Corner, England. Conceded by Kika van Es.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Netherlands Women. Renate Jansen replaces Shanice van de Sanden.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Toni Duggan (England) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Karen Carney with a cross.

  13. Post update

    Corner, England. Conceded by Sari van Veenendaal.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ellen White (England) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Francesca Kirby.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Netherlands Women. Conceded by Toni Duggan.

  16. Post update

    Corner, England. Conceded by Kelly Zeeman.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jodie Taylor (England) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Ellen White with a headed pass.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Toni Duggan (England) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ellen White (England) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jordan Nobbs with a cross.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands Women).


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