England were left in tears after their dreams of winning the Women’s Euro 2017 were crushed by Holland.
The Lionesses saw their superb campaign come to a sudden halt as they were soundly beaten 3-0 by the host nation in their semi-final in Enschede on Thursday.
Goals from Arsenal pair Vivianne Miedema and Danielle van de Donk sealed it for the Dutch before a late Millie Bright own goal compounded England’s misery.
„I’ve got 24 devastated women in the changing room,“ said manager Mark Sampson. „They’ve shed a load of tears, along with the staff, but I’m incredibly proud of the team.
„Over the last year, they’ve given absolutely everything to try to win this tournament. They couldn’t have left any more on the field, not just tonight but over the last year. I’m very proud of the team.“
England made a scrappy start and paid the price as Holland’s tactic of attacking down the right paid off with Miedema heading home Jackie Groenen’s cross.
England made a positive response and Jade Moore had an effort deflected onto the post before Ellen White had a decent penalty appeal turned down.
Holland’s second goal just after the hour proved a decisive blow. Van de Donk pounced after Fara Williams headed back towards her own goal.
England were finished off when Bright diverted Renate Jansen’s effort into her own net with what proved to be the last kick of the game.
Sampson added: „Sometimes things don’t go your way and in a game like tonight it’s a real bitter pill to swallow because the players have given so much. Tonight wasn’t our night.
„The referees are there to do their best. I’m sure she did her best tonight.“
Holland’s opponents in Sunday’s final at the same venue will be Denmark, who beat Austria on penalties in Breda after their clash ended 0-0.Euro Soccer Bonus
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