Hosts, Danes rejoice as final two decided
Denmark defeat Austria on penalties after stalemate
Hosts Netherlands run out 3-0 winners against England
2017 will see a new UEFA Women’s EURO winner
And then there were two. Denmark and the Netherlands will contest the final of the UEFA Women’s EURO on Sunday 6 August after recording semi-final victories against Austria and England, respectively, on Thursday. After a goalless stalemate in the opening semi-final, Denmark defeated Austria 3-0 in a penalty shoot-out, while Netherlands wowed home fans with a 3-0 victory over England in Enschede.
2017 will see a new European champion crowned with Denmark and the Netherlands making their first ever appearance in a continental final. On Sunday, one team will join the EURO’s previous three winners Germany, Norway and Sweden in lifting the championship. FIFA.com rounds up the action amongst the final four.
Results Denmark 0-0 Austria (Denmark win 3-0 on penalties) Netherlands 3-0 England
Danish delight as Austria pay the penalty In Thursday’s first semi-final, spectators were treated to an action-packed first half in Breda, with Austria’s Nina Burger seeing a low effort cleared off the line on seven minutes. Tournament debutants Austria progressed to the final four after defeating Spain in a penalty shoot-out in the previous round. And while Sarah Puntigam may have bagged the fifth and decisive spot-kick in that tie, she failed to convert a penalty on 13 minutes, blasting her spot-kick over the bar.
Denmark then came close to taking the lead moments later when Sanne Troelsgaard’s strike rattled the bar. The second-half, however, was not as lively as the opening 45 minutes and while Denmark tried to breach Austria’s well-drilled defence – with Simone Boye Sorensen and skipper Pernille Harder both enjoying chances – they were unable to break the deadlock.
The Danes continued to pepper Austria’s goal in extra-time, looking the more dangerous side going forward. Harder had a chance to snatch a dramatic winner with just seconds left on the clock but the No10’s powerful header went agonisingly wide at the death. But Nils Nielsen’s side were soon celebrating when Boye Sorensen converted the winning penalty after Austria failed to find the net three times, confirming Denmark’s place in their maiden Women’s EURO final.
Hosts prevail in front of record crowd Eight years on from England's 2-1 semi-final victory against the Netherlands after extra time, both teams met again in the 2017 edition of the tournament in Enschede. Despite missing goalkeeper Karen Bardsley through injury (fractured fibula) and Jill Scott due to a suspension, England went into the clash brimming with confidence after boasting a 100 per cent record.
But it was the hosts who drew first blood with Vivianne Miedema heading home Jackie Groenen’s superb cross from the right flank after 22 minutes. The Lionesses battled bravely, with Jade Moore coming close to grabbing a first-half leveller with a header, but they were powerless to stop Danielle van de Donk’s doubling the lead in the second-half after the Arsenal Women star pounced onto a back pass.
Lethal goal-getter Jodie Taylor had a chance to reduce the deficit with less than ten minutes remaining, but her close-range effort was denied courtesy of a fine save by goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal, while the Netherlands followed up with a third when Millie Bright scored an own-goal in injury-time. A 27,093 crowd – a record Dutch attendance for a women's football match - gave relentless support to their side from start to finish at an orange-clad FC Twente Stadion, and were even more jubilant when the final whistle sounded.
The stats 3 – Three nations have won the UEFA Women’s EURO in 11 previous editions: Germany (8), Norway (2) and Sweden (1). This year will see a new team add their name to the list of winners when Denmark and the Netherlands go head to head in Sunday’s showpiece final in Enschede.
5 – While England may have bowed out at the semi-finals, Lionesses striker Jodie Taylor remains the tournament’s leading goalscorer, finding the net five times. While it was her Arsenal team-mates Miedema and van de Donk who bagged the other semi-final goals - aside from Bright’s own-goal - Taylor boasts a three-goal margin over those in joint-second on the scoring list.
240 – The number of minutes Austria went without scoring in the knockout stages at Netherlands 2017. Dominik Thalhammer’s side played out a goalless draw against Spain in the quarter-finals, eventually progressing after penalties. They failed to find the net again in the semi-finals but were unable to convert any of their spot-kicks as Denmark ran out 3-0 winners in the shoot-out. Austria demonstrated resolute defending throughout the tournament, only conceding one goal through open play.
Coming up *Final 6 August 2017 Netherlands-Denmark (FC Twente Stadion, Enschede)*