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Arsenal’s Dutch duo prove too much for England

04 August, 2017 — By Catherine Etoe

Jordan Nobbs skips over a Dutch tackle. Photos: James Prickett

UEFA Women’s Euro semi-final

ARSENAL duo Vivianne Miedema and Danielle van de Donk were both on target as the Netherlands outclassed England on Thursday night to book a place in the UEFA Women’s Euro final.

Playing in front of more than 27,000 fans, a record for a women’s game in Holland, England were unable to rise to the occasion against a Dutch side full of flair and high in belief.

England beat the Netherlands at the semi-final stage in this competition in Finland in 2009, but there would be no repeat for the Lionesses on this occasion.

New Arsenal signing Miedema put the host nation ahead after just 21 minutes when she headed the ball beyond England keeper Siobhan Chamberlain from a superb Jackie Groenen cross.

Player of the match van de Donk dashed any hopes of a comeback just after the hour mark when she capitalised on a poor headed backpass from her Arsenal team-mate Fara Williams to lift the ball over an on-rushing Chamberlain.

Arsenal’s Jodie Taylor in action during the semi-final

And a cruel deflection from a Lieke Martens’ shot off Chelsea defender Millie Bright put paid to England’s dreams of a third-ever Euro final appearance in injury time.

With a 100 per cent record going into the semi-final, the Netherlands had scored first in every game and gone on to win, so when Miedema headed in, it did not bode well for England.

And so it proved, with Jade Moore seeing a header cleared off the line by Sherida Spitse and Arsenal keeper Sari van Veenendaal remaining steadfast as her club-mate Jodie Taylor and former Gunner Ellen White came close late on.

Skipper Spitse was the hero again as the clock ticked down when she cleared substitute Toni Duggan’s effort off the line, but it was all over for England by then and Bright’s own goal confirmed it at the death.

The Netherlands now face Denmark in the final in Enschede on Sunday.

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