Netherlands 3-1 England: 3 reasons why the Dutch progressed to the finals | UEFA Nations League
The UEFA Nations League semi-finals came to an end yesterday with the Dutch defeating the English. The Netherlands will now take on Portugal to determine the winners on Sunday night, while the Swiss and English face off on Saturday night to determine who takes the third place.
Gareth Southgate fielded a 4-3-3 with a back four of Kyle Walker, Harry Maguire, John Stones, and Ben Chilwell. Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, and Declan Rice guarded the midfield, while Sancho, Rashford, and captain Sterling, lead the attack.
Ronaldo Koeman fielded a 4-2-3-1 with Denzel Dumfries, Matthijs de Ligt, Virgil Van Dijk, and Daley Blind guarding the defence. de Jong and de Roon made the double pivot while Wijnaldum, Babel, and Bergwijn lead the front. Memphis Depay was the sole striker.
England took the lead through a penalty converted by Marcus Rashford in the 32nd minute. Matthijs de Ligt equalized late in the second half for the Dutch through a header as we went into extra time 1-1. The Netherlands doubled up their lead after a mix-up in the defence through Quincy Promes, who went on to seal the deal with a third Dutch goal on the night.
Here is a look at three reasons why the Netherlands won.
#3 Capitalizing on English errors and keeping a strong mentality
The Dutch went back in a horrific manner with de Ligt losing the ball under minimal pressure from Rashford and bringing him down for a penalty. However, they were persistent in their attempt to get back into the game and tried shot after shot, creating chance after chance. They ended the night with 29 shots. Even better, 14 of those shots were on target, compared to just 3 from England.
Even after conceding the lead, they had the intent to keep the attack and press on, while Matthijs de Ligt made up for his mistake at the other end with a powerful header. The mentality of the 19-year-old and that of his team is elite.
To seal the win, however, they had to keep a close eye on the English players, and their movements. Goals two and three were courtesy mistakes made by the defenders under pressure of no pressure. John Stones first made a mistake of keeping the ball for too long as Depay pinched it from him, which culminated in Promes forcing the ball in off Kyle Walker.
The third goal was a result of a mix-up between Ross Barkley and Kyle Walker as Depay and Promes combined again to score, this time, the goal awarded rightfully to Promes.
England still has a long way to go.