England lose 3-1 to Netherlands after extra-time in UEFA Nations League semi-final

Netherlands v England - UEFA Nations League Semi-Final

Less than 12 months after their last semi-final, Gareth Southgate’s England found themselves in another.

Ok, this wasn’t quite the World Cup but a Nations League victory would be celebrated nonetheless.

However, the result was the same - more extra-time heartbreak.

Following Cristiano Ronaldo’s masterclass on Wednesday night, England and Netherlands were looking to book a place to meet Portugal in Sunday’s final.

The 30,000-seater stadium in Guimaraes was predominantly full of England fans but it was the Dutch that dominated the first half an hour.

But, out of nowhere, the Three Lions won themselves a penalty.

Matthijs de Ligt suffered a lapse of concentration and brought down Marcus Rashford inside the penalty area.

Rashford brushed himself down and sent Jasper Cillessen the wrong way.

But that was pretty much Rashford's last involvement as he was forced off at half-time with an ankle injury.

On came Harry Kane, who inherited the captain's armband from Raheem Sterling.

But the introduction of Kane failed to improve England’s performance.

After the break, Netherlands continued to dominate possession but had to wait until the 73rd-minute to equalise.

And it was De Ligt making amends with a bullet header from Memphis Depay’s corner.

England thought they had won it with eight minutes remaining.

Champions League winning captain Jordan Henderson slipped in Jesse Lingard, who finished superbly.

However, VAR replays showed that Lingard was just offside.

But, ultimately, it was more extra-time heartbreak for England, just like it was in the World Cup.

And fingers will be pointed at defender John Stones, who lost possession to Depay.

Jordan Pickford appeared to save him but Quincy Promes squeezed the ball home from the rebound.

And it was game over when England gave the ball away in a terrible position when Ross Barkley gave the ball straight to Depay, who squared it to Promes to finish.

So, it will be Netherlands vs Portugal in the UEFA Nations League final on Sunday evening, while England will face Switzerland in the third-place playoff earlier in the day.

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