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England 2 (K.Smith 61,J.Scott 116)
Holland 1 (Pieete 64)
Jill Scott headed a late extra time winner to send England in the UEFA Women's Championship Final for the first time in 25 years with a 2-1 victory over a defensive Holland side.
The result was no more than England deserved after dominating possession and territory for most of the 120 minutes against opponents who showed little attacking intent for the whole match.
Hope Powell sprang a shock in her pre-match team selection by omitting in-form winger Karen Carney for Jess Clarke whilst Alex Scott replaced the injured Faye White in defence, with Lindsay Johnson reverting to the centre.
England took up the play from the start and the story of the first half began with them trying to find a way through a massed Dutch defence. Their best opportunity came as Kelly Smith tricked her way past Annemieke Griffioen in the goalline and cut in but her goalbound shot was blocked by Anouk Hoogendijk, although Eniola Aluko was in a great position in front of goal.
Holland tried to play on the counter attack and hit long balls towards lone striker Karin Stevens but rarely troubled Rachel Brown despite winning a couple of corners before the interval.
Carney was introduced as a half time substitute for Sue Smith and the pattern of the match continued after the break. Katie Chapman and Aluko had efforts on goal before the breakthrough came just after the hour.
The ball rebounded kindly into the path of Aluko who made her way to the goalline before cutting the ball back for Kelly Smith to slide a left foot shot past Loes Geurts and into the corner of the net.
However England's joy lasted just three minutes as a loss of concentration proved fatal. The Dutch suddenly pressed forward and speedy winger Manon Melis broke down the right and measured a low cross into the area and just beyond the far post where Marlous Pieete buried her shot past Brown for the equaliser.
Holland immediately reverted back to their negative tactics and England were back to square one. Lianne Sanderson was introduced as a substitute for Aluko but, despite some nice touches, they once again struggled to break down the orange wall.
England had loud shouts for a penalty for what looked a blatant handball by Petra Hogewoning in the area but they were turned down and the match trawled into extra time.
Despite the Dutch side visibly tiring, the frustration continued for England as they missed a succession of chances in the first period. Firstly, Fara Williams blazed over the bar from a good position and then an ever better opportunity was passed up as Carney brilliantly worked her way along the goalline and set up Sanderson who hit the bar from fully two yards out.
Chapman, who had been superb in midfield all game, almost put England in front but her well struck shot brought out a good save from Geurts. Jill Scott, on as a substitute, then miscued a header over the bar from a Carney corner.
Penalties were looming large as the one-sided extra period continued and it looked as though England's luck was out after a Carney free kick brought a huge scramble in the Holland area but the ball did not break in front of goal.
However with just four minutes left, Carney floated across a corner from the right and this time Jill Scott rose high for a firm downward header which Geurts could not keep out and England had finally got their reward.
Now a weary Holland had to attack once again but they could not muster an attempt on goal and joyous England celebrations began on the final whistle.
England: Rachel Brown, Alex Scott, Casey Stoney, Fara Williams, Lindsay Johnson, Anita Asante, Jess Clarke (sub Jill Scott 90mins), Katie Chapman, Eniola Aluko (sub Lianne Sanderson 71mins), Kelly Smith, Sue Smith (sub Karen Carney 45mins).
Holland: Loes Geurts, Dyanne Bito (sub Marloes de Boer 117mins), Daphne Koster, Manoe Meulen, Petra Hogewoning, Anouk Hoogendijk, Annemieke Griffioen, Marlous Pieete (sub Kirsten Van de Ven 86mins), Manon Melis, Karin Stevens (sub Shanice van de Sanden 120mins), Sylvia Smit.
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