Jill Scott's late header put England into the Euro 2009 final
By Marc Vesty
Jill Scott's powerful header in the second half of extra-time sent England through to the final of the European Championship in Finland.
England opened the scoring against the defensive Dutch side when Eniola Aluko squared her pass to Kelly Smith who neatly slotted the ball home.
The Netherlands hit back three minutes later as poor defending enabled Marlous Pieete to drive into the corner.
But, after missing a host of chances, Scott's header on 115 minutes won it.
England have not reached the final of a major championship since losing to Sweden in the inaugural European Championships in 1984.
They will face either Germany or Norway - who meet on Monday - in the final at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki on Thursday (1700 BST).
Facing a Netherlands side ranked 17th in the world, ninth placed England were expected to outclass their opponents but it was quickly obvious the defensive approach, which had seen the Dutch beat France on penalties in the quarter-final, would cause England problems.
The first half went exactly to plan for the Netherlands as they stifled England, reducing the tempo of coach Hope Powell's side.
As well as leaving nine women behind the ball for the majority of the game the Dutch left two players on England's key forward Kelly Smith who was often left fighting for scraps.
However, after 25 minutes of being marginalised, Smith finally created havoc in the Netherlands back line with a jinking run which saw her drift past three defenders before disappointingly firing her shot into the body Anouke Hoogendijk.
Powell threw Karen Carney into the fray at half-time in place of Sue Smith and the change revitalised England as they began to ask questions of the formerly resolute Netherlands defence.
Carney and Smith celebrate after England take the lead
After an hour, England's patience was rewarded when a missed clearance from the Netherlands found Aluko, who edged into the penalty box before pulling the ball back to Smith who kept a cool head to slot the ball in from the edge of the six-yard-box.
But England's lead was short lived.
Three minutes later, positive play from Manon Melis caught the England defence cold as she darted down the right and squared her pass to Pieete who smashed her effort into the bottom corner to equalise.
As the Dutch reverted to defending in numbers Carney began to probe again, but despite three quality balls into the Netherlands box England were unable to find a finish.
With both sets of players looking tired the game ebbed out into extra time.
In the first minute of extra time substitute Lianne Sanderson found Farah Williams in space on the edge of the 18-yard box but the England captain ballooned her effort over the bar.
It was a fantastic result but we know we now need to go on and win the tournament
Minutes later, Sanderson should have made the breakthrough when Carney burst to the touchline and squared to the edge of the six-yard box only for Sanderson to somehow crash the ball on to the underside of the crossbar.
Jill Scott missed a third gilt-edged chance for England as she headed over the bar from a corner with the goal at her mercy and it began to look like the luck might be with the Dutch.
Finally however, England secured victory as Scott rose to meet Carney's corner and powered her header through a crowd to send England into the final.
Delighted England left-back Casey Stoney said getting to the final of Euro 2009 was a huge moment for all of the players and management.
"We are over the moon. A lot of the players have said this is not only the best moment in their career but possibly the happiest moment in their lives," she told BBC Radio 5 live.
"I haven't stopped smiling since I walked off the pitch but we know we haven't won it yet.
"We are gathering momentum now, we know we have still got a lot to give in terms of playing, we haven't even reached third gear yet so we are hoping we can produce a great display come Thursday for the final.
"It was a fantastic result but we know we now need to go on and win the tournament."
England coach Powell admitted watching her side's attempts to break down the Netherlands rearguard had been an exhausting experience.
"Their system is very, very frustrating to play against, but it works for them," she told Uefa.com.
"Fortunately, we were patient. We missed a few chances that perhaps we might have scored, but the main thing is we got there in the end - in the very end.
"Our main aim was to get out of the group but the ultimate aim was to get ourselves into the final. We're there now and the next step, of course, is that we want to win it."
Live text and stats
Sunday, 6 September 2009
Women's Euro 2009
(HT 0-0)After Extra Time
03 Stoney yellow card
09 Aluko (Sanderson 70)
11 Smith (Carney 46)
21 Clarke (Scott 91)
02 Bito (De Boer 117)
19 Pieete (Van de Ven 87)
10 Stevens (Van den Sanden 120+1)
14 De Boer,
20 Van Dalen,
08 Van de Ven,
18 De Vries,
21 De Ridder,
22 Van den Sanden
Ref: GaalAtt: 4,000
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
Extra Time Complete
120:00+0:27 The match is over.
120:00+0:03 Substitution Claudia Van den Sanden is brought on as a substitute for Karin Stevens.
119:46 Shot from just outside the box by Kirsten Van de Ven misses to the left of the target.
118:15 Lianne Sanderson takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.
116:37 Substitution Marloes De Boer comes on in place of Dyanne Bito.
115:34 Karen Carney provided the assist for the goal.
115:34 GOAL - Jill Scott:England Ladies 2 - 1 Holland Ladies Jill Scott grabs a headed goal from deep inside the penalty area. England Ladies 2-1 Holland Ladies.
115:27 Corner taken right-footed by Karen Carney from the right by-line,
110:11 Unfair challenge on Katie Chapman by Daphne Koster results in a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Karen
Extra Time Started
105:01 The referee blows to start the second half of extra time.
Extra Time Half Time
101:13 Corner taken right-footed by Karen Carney, Close range header by Jill Scott goes over the bar.
98:14 Katie Chapman takes a shot. Save by Loes Geurts.
97:49 Karen Carney takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Daphne Koster.
94:46 Corner taken right-footed by Karen Carney from the left by-line, Headed effort from inside the area by Jill Scott misses to
the left of the target.
93:59 Lianne Sanderson takes a shot.
91:00 Shot on goal by Fara Williams from just inside the area goes over the target.
Extra Time Started
90:01 Substitution Jill Scott is brought on as a substitute for Jessica Clarke.
90:00+2:32 The referee blows for the end of normal time.
90:00 Kirsten Van de Ven gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kelly Smith. Free kick crossed right-footed by Karen
Carney from right channel.
89:21 Katie Chapman takes a shot.
88:26 Shot from just outside the area by Alex Scott goes over the bar.
86:01 Substitution Marlous Pieete leaves the field to be replaced by Kirsten Van de Ven.
Correction - 85:17 Booking The referee shows Casey Stoney a yellow card for dissent.
85:17 Booking The referee books Casey Stoney for unsporting behaviour.
84:23 Karen Carney takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Daphne Koster.
79:31 Foul by Marlous Pieete on Karen Carney, free kick awarded. Karen Carney takes the free kick.
75:54 A cross is delivered by Karen Carney.
69:33 Substitution Eniola Aluko goes off and Lianne Sanderson comes on.
63:13 Assist by Manon Melis.
63:13 GOAL - Marlous Pieete:England Ladies 1 - 1 Holland Ladies A goal is scored by Marlous Pieete from inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. England Ladies 1-1 Holland
60:25 Assist on the goal came from Eniola Aluko.
60:25 GOAL - Kelly Smith:England Ladies 1 - 0 Holland Ladies A goal is scored by Kelly Smith from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. England Ladies 1-0
59:38 Eniola Aluko takes a shot. Save by Loes Geurts.
58:18 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Karen Carney.
53:40 Inswinging corner taken by Sylvia Smit, Daphne Koster produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box that clears the
53:06 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Sylvia Smit, clearance by Alex Scott.
45:01 The second half begins.
45:01 Substitution Karen Carney replaces Sue Smith.
45:00+1:22 The referee calls an end to the first half.
40:15 Inswinging corner taken by Sylvia Smit from the left by-line played to the near post.
33:15 The referee blows for offside against Eniola Aluko. Direct free kick taken by Manoe Meulen.
31:43 Shot from just outside the box by Sylvia Smit goes over the bar.
30:38 Marlous Pieete takes a shot. Save by Rachel Brown.
25:22 Kelly Smith takes a shot. Blocked by Anouk Hoogendijk.
22:08 Jessica Clarke is caught offside. Free kick taken by Loes Geurts.
19:07 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Petra Hogewoning by Kelly Smith. Annemiek Griffioen takes the direct free kick.
14:05 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Sylvia Smit from the left by-line.
9:19 Corner taken by Sue Smith, save made by Loes Geurts.
6:51 Foul by Fara Williams on Sylvia Smit, free kick awarded. Daphne Koster takes the free kick.
5:22 Outswinging corner taken by Sue Smith from the left by-line, Katie Chapman takes a shot. Save by Loes Geurts.
1:25 Kelly Smith is ruled offside. Daphne Koster restarts play with the free kick.
0:00 The game kicks-off.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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