And they're through to the final of UEFA Women’s Euro 2017! A dream come true for the Netherlands women’s team, who showed power and patience in their convincing 3-0 victory over tournament favourites England on Thursday night.
The hosts now face Denmark, who beat Austria in the other semi-final after a penalty shootout. The final will be played in Enschede on Sunday.
The Dutch were in control of the match from the start and took the lead halfway through the first half when Vivianne Miedema powered home a back-post header after a precision cross from playmaker Jackie Groenen.
Another header decided the game in the second half when Fara Williams tried to reach the England goalkeeper and found her poor effort seized on by Danielle van de Donk. England were unlucky in stoppage time when Mille Bright scored an own goal by deflecting a shot from Lieke Martens. For a third time, the 27,093 capacity crowd - a new record crowd for a women's football match in the Netherlands – erupted in rapturous cheers.
"This is really unbelievable," Daniel van den Donk told Dutch public television NOS. "No one really expected this, I feel so proud," said the midfielder, who was chosen Women of the match by UEFA. "It was sometimes difficult to play our game because England played a very physical game and we had to battle hard for every ball. But winning 3-0... I'm really so proud."
Yes, we want to be European champion. We are in the finals and that's fantastic.
There was praise from the England camp, where the mood was downbeat. "They [the Netherlands, ed] had a gameplan and did it well and took their chances, credit to them. We had chances and could have had a few penalties. We are bitterly disappointed.
Right after the match, Netherlands manager Sarina Wiegman made no secret of her team’s ambitions. "Yes, we want to be European champion. We are in the finals and that's fantastic. We've delivered a fantastic performance tonight and we want to do it again on Sunday. We’ll give Denmark all we have!”
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