England impress in comeback win over Dutch


Beth Mead scored a minute after the Netherlands missed a penalty

England came from behind for the first time under manager Sarina Wiegman to register an impressive victory over European champions the Netherlands.

Substitutes Beth Mead and Ella Toone made an impact as they both got on the scoresheet in a one-sided second half.

The Dutch led through Lieke Martens’ header before Lucy Bronze equalised to make it 1-1 at half-time.

Mead then struck moments after Dutch captain Sherida Spitse hit the post from the penalty spot, before Toone and Lauren Hemp doubled England’s tally in the space of two minutes.

Arsenal winger Mead added a fifth goal late on to confirm a resounding victory in a statement performance from the Lionesses in Leeds.

England’s victory, played in front of a vibrant crowd at Elland Road, extended their unbeaten run under manager Wiegman after she joined from the Netherlands in September.

They have just one friendly remaining – against Switzerland on 30 June – before opening the home Euros at Old Trafford against Austria on 6 July.

It was an entertaining match throughout as England were pressed intensely by the visitors in the first half and found themselves trailing when Martens’ well-timed header caught out Mary Earps on a corner.

Bronze then looped a cross – intended for Beth England – inside the far post to ensure the teams were level at the break.

The Netherlands were awarded a penalty following a VAR review when Alex Greenwood brought down ex-Arsenal midfielder Danielle van de Donk but Spitse, making her 200th appearance, struck the post.

Within seconds, England went up the other end and Hemp curled it into the path for substitute Mead to direct home.

The crowd were on their feet and momentum was with England as they pushed to extend their advantage – Toone eventually curling in a third, before Hemp pounced on a rebound off the post to fire in a fourth.

It was a taste of the exciting football England are capable of producing at the Euros and the supporters who chanted “we want five” after Hemp’s goal were given what they asked for when Mead fired in another in the dying moments.

Those leaving Elland Road will no doubt have come away feeling even more anticipation for the first game which is just 12 days away.

England deliver against ‘biggest test’

Wiegman, who led the Netherlands to the European title on home soil in 2017, said they would be England’s biggest test in their friendlies before the tournament.

They proved to be hard to contain in the first half as Lineth Beerensteyn came close on two occasions and Martens was dangerous on the left.

But England bounced back well after Martens had given the visitors a 22nd-minute lead and went up another gear in the second half.

Toone and Mead were explosive and dynamic when they came on, striker Alessia Russo was constantly on the move inside the penalty area and Hemp’s deliveries from the left were pin-point.

There was a party atmosphere at full-time as 19,365 fans celebrated with a rendition of ‘Sweet Caroline’, the waving flags and scarves a taste of what could come this summer.

More to follow.

Line-ups

England

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Earps
  • 2Bronze
  • 5Bright
  • 6GreenwoodBooked at 51minsSubstituted forStanwayat 63′minutes
  • 3DalySubstituted forCarterat 75′minutes
  • 8Williamson
  • 4Walsh
  • 7KellySubstituted forMeadat 45′minutes
  • 10KirbySubstituted forTooneat 64′minutes
  • 11HempSubstituted forParrisat 81′minutes
  • 9EnglandSubstituted forRussoat 63′minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Stokes
  • 13Hampton
  • 14Stanway
  • 15Toone
  • 16Wubben-Moy
  • 17Mead
  • 18Parris
  • 19Russo
  • 20Scott
  • 21Roebuck
  • 22Carter

Netherlands

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1van Veenendaal
  • 5WilmsSubstituted forCasparijat 81′minutes
  • 3van der GragtSubstituted forDijkstraat 45′minutes
  • 2NouwenBooked at 29mins
  • 20Janssen
  • 14Groenen
  • 12PelovaSubstituted forBrugtsat 63′minutes
  • 8SpitseSubstituted forEgurrolaat 73′minutes
  • 6Roord
  • 7BeerensteynBooked at 45minsSubstituted forMiedemaat 63′minutes
  • 11MartensSubstituted forvan de Donkat 45′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4van Dongen
  • 9Miedema
  • 10van de Donk
  • 13Jansen
  • 15Dijkstra
  • 16van Domselaar
  • 17Leuchter
  • 18Casparij
  • 19Olislagers
  • 21Egurrola
  • 22Brugts
  • 23Lorsheyd

Referee:
Sandra Bráz Bastos

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