UEFA Nations League - Semi-final

Netherlands 3-1 England: Extra-time errors gift Netherlands semi-final win

By Phil McNultyChief football writer in Portugal
Memphis Depay tackles John Stones
John Stones started four of England's Nations League matches this year

England suffered more semi-final disappointment as they produced a defensive horror show to crash out of the Nations League to the impressive Netherlands in Guimaraes.

Marcus Rashford's penalty, awarded after he was fouled by Matthijs de Ligt, gave Gareth Southgate's side an interval advantage.

De Ligt made amends when he took advantage of poor marking at a corner to power home a header with 17 minutes left.

England thought substitute Jesse Lingard's late strike had put them on course for the inaugural Nations League final against hosts Portugal in Porto on Sunday, only for VAR to intervene and rule it out for offside.

The Dutch were the far superior side but they were gifted their route to the showdown against Portugal on Sunday by suicidal defending in extra time by England, who were hoping to go one better than their World Cup semi-final exit against Croatia last summer.

John Stones was caught in possession by Memphis Depay who forced a brilliant save from Jordan Pickford, but Kyle Walker could only bundle the loose ball into his own net under challenge from Quincy Promes.

And England produced more pantomime defending for the Netherlands' third, this time Ross Barkley getting caught in possession from another poor pass from Stones, leaving Memphis to offer up a simple finish to Promes.

England's dejected players must now lift themselves for the third-place play-off against Switzerland in Guimaraes on Sunday.

England second best

England players react
England conceded three goals in a competitive match for the first time since losing 4-1 to Germany at the 2010 World Cup.

England's defending, or lack of, was the primary reason for this defeat, but this was a mediocre performance from a side hoping to lift their first trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

Southgate left out the likes of captain Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson after their Champions League final exertions when Liverpool beat Spurs in Madrid on Saturday and, of course, this tournament comes at the conclusion of a gruelling season.

There can be no excuse, however, for the errors that led England down the path to defeat and they were symptomatic of a defensive performance that bordered on the shambolic.

Stones had a game he will want to forget, a process that may take some time because this was a harrowing 120 minutes for the Manchester City defender, but he was not the only culprit because he can be joined on the roll of dishonour by Harry Maguire and Walker.

Maguire's performance was littered with mistakes against the nimble Dutch and he was fortunate Depay's finishing was wayward after he was robbed in a dangerous area in the second half, while Walker was rescued by Pickford when he also conceded possession to the same forward.

England looked leggy and uninspired, perhaps an inevitable consequence this late in the season, but there were real areas of concern at the back and there can be no complaints.

Koeman overseeing Dutch development

Matthijs de Ligt
Matthijs de Ligt was involved in both goals in normal time - giving away a penalty before scoring with a header late on

Ronald Koeman's first game as coach of the Netherlands was a 1-0 loss to England in Amsterdam in March 2018 - this was compelling evidence of just how far they have travelled in that time.

They were more composed and constructive than England and it was only their lack of a clinical striker that kept England in the game for so long. If Koeman can uncover one, they will be a very formidable side.

The Netherlands are on the way back as Koeman presides over a mix of talented youngsters and experience.

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk, mercilessly and totally inexplicably jeered by England's fans all night, is the leader and has the developing De Ligt, who had a mixed evening but who will be a truly outstanding defender, alongside him.

And in the brilliant Frenkie de Jong, the midfielder who is the first piece of Barcelona's rebuild, they had the best player on the pitch as he played with a class and composure that made a nonsense of his 22 years.

The Netherlands deserve their place in the final and, barring accidents and aided by the addition of the striker they so badly need, Koeman's team could be a serious force at Euro 2020.

The Dutch curse - the best of the stats

  • England have lost three of their past four international matches against the Netherlands (W1, D0, L3).
  • Two of England's past three defeats when leading at half-time have been against the Netherlands (also March 2016) - the other was against Croatia in the World Cup semi-final.
  • Rashford has scored four goals in his past seven international appearances for England - having scored three in his first 25.
  • Sterling became the third youngest player to reach 50 caps for England (24y 180d), behind only Wayne Rooney in 2009 (23y 159d) and Michael Owen in 2003 (23y 179d).
  • De Ligt has scored in each of his past two international appearances for the Netherlands, having scored none in his first 14 beforehand.
  • Walker became the first England player to score an own goal in an international match since Eric Dier in May 2016 against Australia.
  • Tonight was Southgate's 34th game in charge of England and his 10th starting XI with an average age of under 25 - the previous 17 managers to take charge of England did this just 10 times in 595 matches combined.
  • Depay has been involved in 23 goals in his past 21 international matches for the Netherlands (13 goals, 10 assists).

Man of the match - Frenkie de Jong

Frankie de Jong
Frenkie de Jong is leaving Ajax for Barcelona this summer after they agreed a £65m deal for the versatile midfielder



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Cillessen
  • 22DumfriesBooked at 44mins
  • 3de LigtBooked at 30mins
  • 4van Dijk
  • 17Blind
  • 15de RoonSubstituted forvan de Beekat 68'minutesBooked at 106mins
  • 21de JongSubstituted forStrootmanat 114'minutes
  • 7BergwijnSubstituted forPröpperat 90'minutes
  • 8Wijnaldum
  • 9BabelSubstituted forPromesat 68'minutes
  • 10Depay


  • 2Hateboer
  • 5Aké
  • 6Pröpper
  • 11Promes
  • 12van Aanholt
  • 13Vermeer
  • 14de Vrij
  • 16Strootman
  • 18Vilhena
  • 19de Jong
  • 20van de Beek
  • 23Bizot


Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Pickford
  • 2Walker
  • 5Stones
  • 6Maguire
  • 14Chilwell
  • 17DelphSubstituted forHendersonat 77'minutes
  • 16RiceSubstituted forAlliat 105'minutes
  • 18Barkley
  • 10Sterling
  • 19RashfordSubstituted forKaneat 45'minutesBooked at 70mins
  • 11SanchoSubstituted forLingardat 61'minutes


  • 3Rose
  • 4Dier
  • 7Lingard
  • 8Henderson
  • 9Kane
  • 12Gomez
  • 13Butland
  • 15Keane
  • 20Alli
  • 21Wilson
  • 22Alexander-Arnold
  • 23Heaton
Clément Turpin

Match Stats

Home TeamNetherlandsAway TeamEngland
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Netherlands 3, England 1.

  2. Post update

    Second Half Extra Time ends, Netherlands 3, England 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Quincy Promes (Netherlands).

  4. Post update

    Dele Alli (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Daley Blind (Netherlands).

  6. Post update

    Jesse Lingard (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Raheem Sterling (England).

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Donny van de Beek (Netherlands) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  10. Post update

    Corner, England. Conceded by Kevin Strootman.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Harry Kane (England) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ross Barkley.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Memphis Depay (Netherlands) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Georginio Wijnaldum following a fast break.

  13. Goal!

    Goal! Netherlands 3, England 1. Quincy Promes (Netherlands) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Memphis Depay.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Netherlands. Kevin Strootman replaces Frenkie de Jong.

  15. Post update

    Matthijs de Ligt (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Harry Kane (England).

  17. Post update

    Frenkie de Jong (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Dele Alli (England).

  19. Post update

    Corner, England. Conceded by Matthijs de Ligt.

  20. Booking

    Donny van de Beek (Netherlands) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.


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