England 5 v 1 Netherlands (Women’s International Friendly)
The England Women’s National team arrived at Elland Road, Leeds yesterday evening to face the Netherlands in the final international friendly on home soil before the start of the Euro’s on the 6th July 2022. After selecting the her squad for the Euro’s this week, Sarina Wegmann welcomed the side that she managed before joining England as manager.
A crowd of just under twenty-thousand supporters were in full voice singing the national anthem before the visitors got the game got underway. It was Sarina Wegmann’s side that started on the front foot and they had the first effort of the match on two minutes as Fran Kirby crossed into the centre of the area, but Lauren Hemp header went just wide of Van-Veenendaal’s left-hand post.
England were controlling the game and having all the possession in the opening twenty minutes, although the visitors started to come back into the game and had their first real effort on seventeen minutes, when Jill Roord right footed shot from outside the box is blocked by the England defence. A minutes later Lineth Beerensteyn hit another right footed shot which was well saved by Mary Earps in the centre of the goal.
On twenty-two minutes, the visitors took the lead after Alex Greenwood had blocked a shot and the ball ran out for a corner. Sherida Spitse took the resulting corner which was sent to the edge of the six yard box in the middle of the area and Lieke Martens headed the ball passed Earps to give the visitors a lead.
Aniek Nouwen was shown a yellow card on the half hour mark for a bad foul on Fran Kirby on the edge of the Netherlands penalty area. Alex Greenwood took the free-kick which was a left footed shot from outside the box, which was well saved by Van-Veenendaalin in the bottom left corner.
England drew level on thirty-two minutes, when Lucy Bronze collected the ball on the right-wing near to the halfway line before hitting a right-footed shot from the right side of the box to the top left corner to make the score 1-1.
Netherlands had the final effort of the first-half as Lieke Martens crossed the ball into the England area for Lineth Beerensteyn who hit a right footed shot from the centre of the box which was well blocked by Millie Bright to leave the half-time score 1-1.
Half-time at Elland Road gave the organisers of the 2022 UEFA European Championships a chance to promote the up coming event which start in the UK on the 6th June 2022. UEFA have already sold around 450,000 tickets for this summers competition and to advertise the remaining ticket for the tournament, the Euro 2022 mascots did a lap around the Elland Road pitch with the trophy.
The second-half started much the same as the first with Lauren Hemp having a right footed shot from the left side of the box following some good link up play with Rachel Daly, but the shot was well blocked by the Netherlands defence.
On forty-nine minutes, Daniëlle Van De Donk broke through the home sides defence and raced into the England penally area, before being stopped by Alex Greenland with an outstanding last ditch tackle to stop Van De Donk getting her shot away. The game then continued for around three minutes before referee Sandra Bastos was called over to the VAR screen and controversial pointed to the penalty spot. Sherida Spitse stepped up to take the kick, but her shot hit the outside of Earps left-hand post and went out for goal kick leave the score 1-1.
England took the lead just one minute after the missed penalty, when Lauren Hemp collected the ball on the left-winger around the halfway line and then beat the full-back before crossing the ball into the area were second-half substitute Beth Mead slid in and sent a right footed shot from close range to the goal to give England a 2-1 lead.
Just before the hour mark, Fran Kirby made another excellent run before finding Beth Mead free inside the visitors area, but her left footed shot from the centre of the box was well blocked by the Netherlands defence.
England were now controlling the match and had two efforts at the Dutch goal in three minutes, the first came on sixty-seven minutes when Ella Toone found Rachel Daly and in front of her home town crowd she hit a right footed shot from outside the box over Van-Veenendaal’s crossbar. The second attempt on seventy minutes, was again created by Ella Toone who this time found Alessia Russo but her right footed shot from the centre of the box was well blocked by the Netherlands defence.
On seventy-two minutes, England extended their lead when Lauren Hemp found Ella Toone just outside the visitors penalty area and curled a right footed shot around the defender and passed Van-Veenendaal into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal to make the score 3-1.
Just two minutes later, the home side added a fourth goal as Lucy Bronze went down the right-wing before pulling the ball back to Ella Toone, her shot was blocked before being clear to the edge of the area were Lauren Hemp hit a volley into the far right corner of the goal making the score 4-1.
The visitors had another attempt on goal after seventy-five minutes, when Jill Roord found Vivianne Miedema and the Arsenal striker hit a right footed shot from outside the box which was well blocked by her club team mate and England captain Leah Williamson.
On ninety minutes, Beth Mead added her second goal and England’s fifth as Alessia Russo pass split two defenders to find Mead in the middle of the area. Mead’s right footed shot left Van-Veenendaal with no chance as the home side made it 5-1 against the current European Champions.
England could have added a further two goals in injury time when Ella Toone hit the left post with a header from a difficult angle on the left and then in the fourth minutes of added time Alessia Russo should have made it six but her shot hit the crossbar and went over the bar, to leave the final score 5-1.
England have just one friendly remaining against Switzerland in Zürich at Letzigrund Stadium on the 30th June 2022, before their opening match in the home Euros at Old Trafford against Austria on 6th July 2022.
England – Earps, Bronze, Bright, Greenwood, Daly, Williamson, Walsh, Kelly, Kirby, Hemp, England (Subs) Stokes, Hampton, Stanway, Toone, Wubben-Moy, Mead, Parris, Russo, Scott, Roebuck, Carter
Netherlands – Van-Veenendaal, Wilms, Van Der Gragt, Nouwen, Janssen, Groenen, Pelova, Spitse, Roord, Beerensteyn, Martens (Subs) Van-Dongen, Miedema, Van De Donk, Jansen, Dijkstra, Van Domselaar, Leuchter, Casparij, Olislagers, Egurrola, Brugts, Lorsheyd
Goals – (England) Bronze, Mead (2), Toone, Hemp (Netherlands) Martens
Attendance – 19,365