They’ve done it! The Orange Lionesses have won UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 by downing Denmark 4-2 in a thrilling final at Enschede’s Grolsch Veste Stadium.
The hosts got off to a false start, with Kika van Es fouling Sanne Troelsgard in an attempt to get the ball inside the penalty area and taking only the leg of her opponent. Danish winger Nadia Nadim found the net from the spot, giving the guests the lead after only five minutes. However, another five minutes into the game, the Netherlands leveled proceedings with Shanice van de Sanden sprinting down the right, then into the area and sliding the ball across goal for Vivianne Miedema to tip into the back of the net.
Both sides continued their attacking game, which made for a very attractive and entertaining first half. And there were more goals to come. First Lieke Martens took the ball a few yards outside the D, moved it to her left foot and sent an effort creeping just inside the post: 2-1 for the Netherlands. Not much later, Danish playmaker Pernille Harder gets to the ball from what the Dutch players believe is an offside position, cuts into the area and nets the ball at the near post.
I could never have achieved this form without my teammates and our coaching staff.
After the break, the Dutch settle matters with Danielle van de Donk’s tricking the Danish goalkeeper and giving the ball to Sherida Spitse to pass it into the corner. And just one minute before the end of regular time, Miedema wrongfoots the Danish goalkeeper again with a low shot inside the near post from the edge of the box, her 45th goal in 57 caps.
Lieke Martens, voted best player of the tournament by UEFA, expressed intense joy and gratitude after the final. "I felt very good during the tournament, but I never expected this to happen. I could never have achieved this form without my teammates and our coaching staff. I'm very thankful to everybody. We just keep going, helping each other out, and fighting like lionesses on the pitch. I'm so very proud. European champions. Unbelievable!"
Netherlands: Van Veenendaal, Van Lunteren, Dekker, Van der Gragt, van Es, Groenen, Van de Donk, Spitse, Van de Sanden, Miedema, Martens
Denmark: Petersen, Nielsen, Sorensen, Larsen, Sandvej, T Nielsen, Kildemoes, Pedersen, Veje, Harder, Nadim