Nations League: Holland beat England to reach final

Nations League: Holland beat England to reach final

Holland came from behind to beat England 3-1 (a.e.t) in the second semi-final of the inaugural European Nations League here in Guimaraes. Marcus Rashford pounced on a Martin de Ligt mistake to win a penalty off the recovering Ajax centre-back. The Manchester United striker picked himself up to score.

England went in at half time with the lead and in reasonable control of the match. For all the prompting of Frenky de Jong in the Holland midfield it was only from mistakes from first Kyle Walker and later Harry Maguire did they find themselves with chances at Jordan Pickford’s goal.

In the second half, Harry Kane replaced the injured Rashford but it was the Dutch who upped the game in search of an equaliser. Superb passing movement ended with Fabian Delph heading away a Denzel Dumphries cross for a corner.

From the corner, Memphis Depay swung in the cross, de Ligt attacked it like a moving train and crashed his header into the bottom corner to bring his side level and atone for his first half mistake.

From that point on it looked like the Dutch were going to score the next goal. However, a flowing move from England involving at least 6 players saw Jesse Lingard set free and into the box; the Man United player calmly slotted home. He and the vast majority of the fans inside the stadium thought it was a goal.

Ref called VAR. It was rule out. And so extra-time and John Stones took over. The Manchester City defender is very comfortable on the ball but he is also quite careless with it. As England tried to build up from the back, he wasted time on the ball, Depay pounced, robbed him but Pickford made a fantastic save to stop his effort.

The rebound had both Quincy Promes and Kyle Walker rushing for the ball, the winger got there first but his scuffed effort was going wide before it was diverted in by the stretching Walker.

Later in the second half of extra time, Stones made another needless pass into the struggling Ross Barkley, the Chelsea midfielder made insufficient contact on the ball as he was being pressed, ball fell to Depay who teed up Promes for a simple finish into an empty net. That was that.

By the time the final whistle went the horde of England fans had emptied the stadium in disappointment and it will be the Dutch fans who will travel to Porto for the final with Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal

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