Dutch women become European champions

Netherlands beat Denmark in Euro 2017 final

Dutch skipper Sherida Spitse put her side ahead for the second time

The Netherlands won their first major women’s international tournament after a thrilling victory over Denmark in the Euro 2017 final on home soil.

Denmark led through Nadia Nadim’s early penalty but the Dutch soon levelled as Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema tucked in.

Lieke Martens put the hosts ahead with a precise 20-yard finish, but Denmark’s Pernille Harder slotted in to equalise.

Dutch captain Sherida Spitse blasted in a free-kick to make it 3-2, and Miedema sealed a historic triumph late on.

Surprise finalists Denmark had pushed for another equaliser late on, as Sanne Troelsgaard went close with a swerving half-volley which dipped past the right-hand post.

But the Dutch, backed by the majority of a sold-out 28,182 crowd in Enschede, never looked in serious danger of conceding again and put the game beyond the Danes when Miedema scored the fourth.

It sparked a party atmosphere inside the FC Twente Stadion where virtually every home supporter was wearing the national team colour of orange.

An emotional Miedema appeared to be in tears in the final few seconds of the match, before the stadium erupted when the final whistle was blown.

No stopping the Netherlands

The Netherlands had never reached the final of a major tournament, with their previous best performance coming when they reached the semi-finals of the 2009 European Championships.

They were not among the pre-tournament favourites, but once France and holders Germany – who were going for a sixth successive title – had been eliminated, they built on the momentum created with the support of their fans.

The Dutch had won all of their games at the tournament leading up to the final, conceding just once in five matches, and beating England in the last four.

Watched by Dutch football legends Marco van Basten and Louis van Gaal in the stands, the home side produced a professional display to fight back against a Denmark team they had already beaten 1-0 in the group stage.

After twice going behind, the Netherlands started to find their rhythm midway through the first half and eventually showed their superiority.

Martens named best player as Taylor finishes top scorer

The Netherlands win Euro 2017<!–

The Netherlands won all six of their matches at Women’s Euro 2017

The Netherlands are only the fourth different nation to win the women’s European Championships, after Germany’s 22-year reign ended.

Joint-captains Spitse and Reading’s Mandy van den Berg, who came on as a substitute in the closing stages, lifted the trophy amid joyous celebrations for the host nation.

It was not the only prize won by the Dutch, with Barcelona winger Martens being presented with the official Player of the Tournament award after a series of dazzling displays on the left flank.

However, the Golden Boot was won by England’s Jodie Taylor.

Arsenal’s Taylor finished as the tournament’s top scorer with five goals, although Arsenal striker Miedema could have levelled by scoring a hat-trick against the Danes.

Analysis – ‘Dutch are a pleasure to watch’

Rachel Brown-Finnis, ex-England goalkeeper:

This is the perfect ending, having the hosts win it, after they created so much momentum with their fans watching them.

They’ve been absolutely stunning. The way that they play the game is with so much energy, so much enthusiasm and so much interaction with the crowd.

The speed and the power, and the way they flood players forward, with the quality of the likes of Jackie Groenen, Miedema, Danielle Van de Donk, Martens – the list goes on.

They have been a pleasure to watch and they are deserved champions.

Player of the Match – Miedema

Vivianne Miedema<!–

Vivianne Miedema netted four times in the three knockout rounds

Denmark captain Harder worked tirelessly and was a constant threat but, with two clinically-finished goals, imaginative movement and some world-class hold-up play, new Arsenal signing Miedema was the deserved Player of the Match, scoring for the third game in a row.

The former Bayern Munich star would have had a hat-trick to savour, but for Danish keeper Stina Lykke Petersen’s magnificent reflex save to keep out her far-post volley in the second half.

Live Text

Match ends, Netherlands Women 4, Denmark Women 2.

Second Half ends, Netherlands Women 4, Denmark Women 2.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Theresa Nielsen (Denmark Women) because of an injury.

Substitution, Netherlands Women. Mandy van den Berg replaces Kika van Es.

Attempt missed. Nadia Nadim (Denmark Women) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Sanne Troelsgaard with a cross following a corner.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Kika van Es (Netherlands Women) because of an injury.

Corner, Denmark Women. Conceded by Dominique Janssen.

Substitution, Netherlands Women. Renate Jansen replaces Shanice van de Sanden.

Goal! Netherlands Women 4, Denmark Women 2. Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Sherida Spitse.

Katrine Veje (Denmark Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jackie Groenen (Netherlands Women).

Attempt missed. Sanne Troelsgaard (Denmark Women) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Denmark Women. Conceded by Sherida Spitse.

Attempt blocked. Sanne Troelsgaard (Denmark Women) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Pernille Harder.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution, Denmark Women. Nanna Christiansen replaces Sofie Pedersen.

Delay in match Stefanie van der Gragt (Netherlands Women) because of an injury.

Offside, Denmark Women. Katrine Veje tries a through ball, but Sanne Troelsgaard is caught offside.

Pernille Harder (Denmark Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Stefanie van der Gragt (Netherlands Women).

Substitution, Denmark Women. Line Røddik Hansen replaces Simone Sørensen because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Simone Sørensen (Denmark Women) because of an injury.

Sanne Troelsgaard (Denmark Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands Women).

Attempt saved. Sofie Pedersen (Denmark Women) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Cecilie Sandvej with a cross.

Stefanie van der Gragt (Netherlands Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Pernille Harder (Denmark Women) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Stefanie van der Gragt (Netherlands Women).

Foul by Sanne Troelsgaard (Denmark Women).

Daniëlle van de Donk (Netherlands Women) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Jackie Groenen (Netherlands Women) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Daniëlle van de Donk.

Attempt missed. Frederikke Thøgersen (Denmark Women) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Denmark Women. Conceded by Dominique Janssen.

Attempt missed. Katrine Veje (Denmark Women) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Pernille Harder.

Foul by Dominique Janssen (Netherlands Women).

Katrine Veje (Denmark Women) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt saved. Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands Women) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Dutch women become European champions

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