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Netherlands beat England to reach Nations League final

Netherlands

Two extra-time errors gifted Netherlands victory as England self-destructed in their 3-1 defeat in the Nations League semi-final.

Netherlands took the lead in the extra period, when last-man John Stones dwelled on the ball, allowing Memphis Depay through to force a save from Jordan Pickford, but Quincy Promes pounced to prompt an own goal from Kyle Walker (97). And then Ross Barkley’s mistake, losing the ball on the edge of England’s area as they attempted to play out of the back, allowed Promes to make sure of a final spot (114). In a game reminiscent of England’s World Cup semi-final defeat by Croatia 11 months ago, Gareth Southgate’s side went ahead in the first half when Matthijs de Ligt’s brought down Marcus Rashford, who converted the penalty himself (32) for his seventh international goal.


But De Ligt atoned for his error to bring the Dutch level with 17 minutes remaining, rising superbly to head home Memphis Depay’s corner, not long after Jadon Sancho should have doubled England’s lead with an unmarked header. England thought they had won it late on only for Jesse Lingard’s effort to be ruled out for a marginal offside by VAR (82), before the two late mistakes handed Netherlands the win on a plate. Netherlands will now play Portugal in Sunday’s final in Porto, while England face Switzerland in the third-place play-off.

Netherlands had more of the ball in a disjointed opening half an hour, but gifted England an opener on 32 minutes. De Ligt, the 19-year-old Ajax skipper heavily linked with a move to Manchester United and Barcelona, caught Rashford with an outstretched leg as he looked to make amends for the ball running under his foot. Referee Clement Turpin awarded a penalty, which Rashford duly dispatched into the bottom right corner. Rashford was close to a second as he was found in-behind by Jadon Sancho’s deft through ball, but a fine tackle from Denzel Dumfries denied the Manchester United forward, while Netherlands’ best first-half chance came in stoppage time as De Ligt headed wide unmarked from Depay’s fine cross.

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