BIG MATCH FEATURE: Netherlands v England

football10 July 2024 07:18

Netherlands and England are both aiming to reach their second Uefa European Championship final as they meet at the BVB Stadion Dortmund in the second semifinal of Uefa Euro 2024.

Watch match live on SuperSport at 9pm CAT.

While England are bidding for a second successive final appearance, Netherlands' sole previous semi-final victory came in 1988, when they went on to claim the title – they have since lost three times in the last four, most recently in 2004.

Netherlands are making their sixth semi-final appearance and England their fourth. Both sides have previously gone on to reach the last four after famous group wins against their opponents in this tie, the Netherlands in 1988 and England in 1996.

The teams both endured testing quarterfinals to set up this tie, England needing a late Bukayo Saka equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw against Switzerland in Düsseldorf and subsequently converting all of their kicks in the shoot-out to win 5-3 on penalties; Netherlands had to come from behind to beat Türkiye 2-1 in Berlin.


England had also endured a tense round of 16 tie, Harry Kane heading the extra-time winner in a 2-1 defeat of Slovakia in Gelsenkirchen, Jude Bellingham's audacious overhead kick having levelled in the final seconds of normal time.

In contrast Netherlands swept past Romania 3-0 in Munich, Donyell Malen's late double adding gloss to Cody Gakpo's first-half strike.

England had finished top of Group C on five points, beating Serbia 1-0 before draws with Denmark (1-1) and Slovenia (0-0). Netherlands took four points from their first two Group D games, against Poland (2-1) and France (0-0), but slipped to third place in the section after losing 3-2 against Austria in their final fixture.

The winners will play Spain in the final at Berlin's Olympiastadion on 14 July.


Previous meetings

Matches 22

Netherlands wins 7

England wins 6

Draws 9

Netherlands goals 29

England goals 31

The sides last met on 6 June 2019, the Netherlands running out 3-1 winners after extra time in the Uefa Nations League at the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques in the Portuguese city of Guimaraes. Gareth Southgate's England struck first thanks to Marcus Rashford's 32nd-minute penalty but a Netherlands side coached by Ronald Koeman – in his first spell in charge – levelled through Matthijs de Ligt with 17 minutes remaining and then triumphed in extra time thanks to Kyle Walker's 97th-minute own goal and a clinching third from substitute Quincy Promes in the 114th minute.

The teams' eight previous meetings had all been friendlies, a 1-0 England win in Amsterdam in March 2018 – with Koeman and Southgate again in charge – achieved with a Jesse Lingard goal ending a seven-match run without a victory against the Oranje (D4 L3).

That sequence without a victory stretched back to Matchday 3 of Euro '96, when an England side including Southgate were 4-1 winners against Netherlands thanks to two goals each from Alan Shearer (23pen, 57) and Teddy Sheringham (51, 62). A Patrick Kluivert consolation 12 minutes from time ensured the Dutch joined Group A winners England in progressing to the quarter-finals.

The teams' only other previous Euro meeting had come at the Rheinstadion in Düsseldorf in the second round of group games at the 1988 tournament. Marco van Basten gave Rinus Michels' Netherlands the lead a minute before half-time and, though Bryan Robson levelled eight minutes into the second period for an England side coached by Bobby Robson, Van Basten went on to complete his hat-trick (71, 75) to end England's hopes of progressing to the semi-finals.

The Dutch went on to beat hosts West Germany in the last four, Koeman scoring their first goal from the penalty spot in a 2-1 win, before claiming their only major silverware with a 2-0 final victory against the Soviet Union.

Koeman also played in a goalless draw against England in the 1990 Fifa World Cup group stage and had a pivotal role when the countries met again in the 1994 qualifying competition.

Absent for a 2-2 draw at Wembley on 28 April 1993 in which Dick Advocaat's Dutch side fought back from two goals down to earn a point, he captained the home side in Rotterdam on 13 October 1993, scoring the free-kick opener in a 2-0 win that proved crucial in the Oranje reaching the finals at the expense of Graham Taylor's England. Dennis Bergkamp scored for Netherlands in both matches.

England won four of the first seven matches between the sides but have managed only two wins in the 15 subsequent games, losing six including three of the last four.

Euro facts


Netherlands' record in European Championship semi-finals is W1 L4:

1976 L 1-3 v Czechoslovakia (aet)

1988 W 2-1 v West Germany

1992 L 2-2 v Denmark (aet, 4-5 pens)

2000 L 0-0 v Italy (aet, 1-3 pens)

2004 L 1-2 v Portugal

Having scored a penalty equaliser against West Germany in 1988, Koeman converted the Netherlands' first spot kick against Denmark in the shoot-out four years later, with Van Basten the only player from either side to miss his kick.

Against ten-man Italy in the 2000 semifinal in Amsterdam, co-hosts Netherlands missed two penalties in normal time and three more in the shoot-out to bow out.

This is the Netherlands' 11th Euro appearance, their most famous campaign coming in 1988 when goals from Ruud Gullit and Van Basten earned a team coached by Michels a 2-0 final win against the Soviet Union in Munich.

The Dutch are making their ninth appearance in the last ten editions of the tournament, missing out only in 2016.

At Euro 2020, under Frank de Boer, the Netherlands were first in Group C on nine points after wins against Ukraine (3-2), Austria (2-0) and North Macedonia (3-0), but then lost 2-0 to Czechia in the round of 16.

With Koeman – a European champion as a player in 1988 – returning for his second spell in charge from 1 January 2023, the Netherlands qualified for Euro 2024 as Group B runners-up. Beaten 4-0 away and 2-1 at home by section winners France, they triumphed in their other six games, a 1-0 victory against the Republic of Ireland in Amsterdam in their penultimate qualifier confirming a finals place.

The Oranje lost four of their ten games in 2023, winning the other six, but the Matchday 3 defeat by Austria is one of only two in nine matches in 2024 (W6 D1). A 2-1 friendly loss to Germany in Frankfurt on 26 March is their only other reverse in their last 12 outings, and one of only three they have not won.

Gakpo was one of four players to have scored three Euro 2024 goals ahead of the semi-finals.

The Dutch have progressed from the group stage eight times out of ten, including on eight of their last nine appearances.

Netherlands played three group games at the BVB Stadion Dortmund in the 1974 World Cup, drawing 0-0 with Sweden before beating Bulgaria 4-1 and Brazil 2-0. Their only other visit was a 3-1 friendly loss against West Germany on 14 May 1986, a match in which Koeman played 90 minutes.


England's record in European Championship semi-finals is W1 L2:

1968 L 0-1 v Yugoslavia

1996 L 1-1 v Germany (aet, 5-6 pens)

2020 W 2-1 v Denmark (aet)

Harry Kane scored England's extra-time winner against Denmark at Euro 2020, converting the rebound after his penalty had been saved. Jordan Pickford, Walker, John Stones, Luke Shaw, Declan Rice, Saka and substitutes Kieran Trippier and Phil Foden also featured in that game.

England are bidding to become only the fourth country to reach successive European Championship finals, after Germany (1972, 1976, 1980 as West Germany; 1992, 1996 as Germany), the Soviet Union (1960, 1964) and Spain (2008, 2012).

Eight of England's last 11 Euro knockout games – including all of the last four – have gone to extra time.

The Three Lions are making their 11th appearance at the final tournament and a ninth in the last ten editions of the competition, missing out only in 2008.

Euro 2020 proved to be England's most successful campaign as they finished first in Group D ahead of Croatia, Czechia and Scotland before knockout wins against Germany (2-0), Ukraine (4-0) and Denmark (2-1 aet) took them into the final for the first time.

Shaw's second-minute goal gave them the lead against Italy at Wembley, but after the Azzurri levelled Southgate's side ultimately lost 3-2 on penalties.

In charge since 2016, Southgate oversaw an unbeaten qualifying campaign for Euro 2024, his side winning six of their eight games, scoring 22 goals and conceding only four, to finish six points clear at the top of Group C. England reached a fourth successive Euro with two matches to spare thanks to a 3-1 home win against Italy on 17 October.

The extra-time win against Slovakia is one of three in England's last ten matches (D5 L2).

England have now qualified from the group stage on their last five European Championship appearances, having failed to progress to the knockout rounds in three of the previous four.

England are unbeaten in their last 12 Euro matches, since a 2-1 loss to Iceland in the 2016 round of 16 (W7 D5).

That defeat by Iceland is England's only reverse in 23 Euro finals matches (W12 D10), with the penalty shoot-outs against Italy (2012, 2020), Portugal (2004) and Switzerland (2024) counted as draws.

Four of England's five Euro 2024 goals have been scored by Bellingham and Kane – two each.

Kane made his 79th competitive appearance for England in the round of 16 against Slovakia – a new national record. He had been level with Peter Shilton on 78.

England's sole previous match at the BVB Stadion Dortmund is a 1-0 friendly loss against Germany on 22 March 2017, a match Walker started with Shaw and Stones late substitutes.