Euro 2017: Semi-final Review

The Netherlands will face Denmark in the final of Euro 2017 after victories in the semi-finals which saw England and Austria's journey come to an end.

Euro 2017: Semi-final Review
Dutch squad in their win over England | Image: Catherine Ivill/Getty

The semi-finals of the UEFA European Championships didn't fail to live up to its high expectations, with penalties and an emphatic victory being the stories of the two stark contrast semi-final matches.

Netherlands and Denmark are the two last surviving teams left in the competition. They face each other in the final which commences on Sunday 6 August. 

Denmark (3) 0-0 (0) Austria: Penalties decide Danes as winners

The first semi-final match began at the Rat Verlegh Stadion as major tournament debutants, Austria, looked to beat Denmark, another surprising semi-finalist in a match where both nations had already exceeded expectations. 

90 minutes of normal playing time and 30 minutes of extra time wasn't enough to separate the two sides, as a penalty shoot-out had to determine the victor.

A slow and nervy start to the game failed to create an opening for either side. Similar to previous matches, Austria sat back, allowing their opposition to have plenty of possession but not enabling them to penetrate to cause any real threat. 

The best chance of the half - and arguably the match - came courtesy of a penalty to the Austrians after Maja Kildemoes' handball. Sarah Puntigam, the scorer of the winning penalty in Austria's quarter-final match against Spain, stepped up to the penalty spot, but her shot skyrocketed over the crossbar. 

Unable to reach full throttle, both sides had some half chances but generally didn't create a challenge for either Stina Lykke Petersen or Manuela Zinsberger between the posts. 

As extra-time got started, Austria and Denmark came out of their shells. The game became much more open with both sides having the do-or-die attitude, creating an exciting 30 minutes, but with once again, no goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a penalty shoot-out that decided the destiny for the two teams. Austria failed to register one successful spot-kick, with credit due to Peterson as she saved two of them, allowing Denmark to go through with a 3-0 scoreline. 

It is the first time in the teams history that they have reached the final of the European Championships.

Netherlands 3-0 England: Dutch delight after dominance against English Lionesses

With a record Dutch crowd for a women's football match cheering them on, the Netherlands also added to the history books, reaching the final of the European Championships for the first time. They defeated England 3-0 after an impressive performance.

The Netherlands dominated proceedings from the start of the match; they looked at ease in possession and lively when they made their way up the pitch.

Despite this, both sides had chances in the opening minutes of the game, but it was the home side that broke the deadlock on the 22nd minute, deservedly. After Lieke Martens switched the ball out wide to Shanice van de Sanden, the winger proved her quality by producing a pin-point cross that met Vivienne Miedemma's head, sending the ball into the back of the net as she registered her second goal of the tournament.

The chances that England had were well defended by the Dutch defence. The ball over top of the backline was predictable, and it appeared as though Mark Sampson's side didn't have a plan B.

Frustration grew within England as the home nation doubled their lead just less than 20 minutes into the second-half. Fara Williams headed the ball into dangerous territory where Danielle van de Donk was lurking. The midfielder took advantage of the situation and slotted the ball past Siobhan Chamberlain.

Although England did have chances to pull one back, their chances were few and far between with the Netherlands always on the front foot looking dangerous.

A third goal added to England's embarrassment; Van de Donk picked up the ball on the left flank with the resulting cross catching an unlucky deflection off Millie Bright just moments before the full-time whistle blew.

The victory was nothing short of well-deserved as the Netherlands will go into the final with masses of confidence and high spirits. 

The final: Netherlands vs Denmark

Group A natives, Netherlands and Denmark, will meet for the second time in the competition on Sunday 6 August in the final of Euro 2017.

The sides met in the group stages, where the 1-0 result went in favour of the Dutch.

The final kicks off at 4pm (UK time) and will be televised on Channel 4 and Europsport.


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