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European U-21

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Netherlands 1-1 England

 

(Netherlands win 13-12 on penalties)

 

Stuart Pearce suffered more penalty misery as England Under-21s lost a marathon shoot-out to Holland in the semi-final of the European Championship.

 

 

Leroy Lita had put Pearce's youngsters ahead in Heerenveen but Maceo Rigters levelled with an overhead kick with a minute remaining to set up extra-time and penalties.

 

In a clinical shoot-out, players had to take penalties twice and Anton Ferdinand's miss ultimately allowed the holders and hosts to win a 32-kick contest 13-12.

 

Pearce lost twice as a player in the last four, both on penalties, and this defeat as a coach was every bit as dramatic.

 

West Ham pair Nigel Reo-Coker and Mark Noble picked up their second yellow cards of the tournament and endured extra-time knowing they would miss the final. James Milner also picked up his second of the competition during the extra 30 minutes.

 

With Nedum Onuoha unable to carry on, Steven Taylor limping and four games in a week taking their toll on the rest of the players, England's 10 men summoned every last piece of energy they had to get through the 120 minutes in the Heerenveen sunshine.

 

At senior level, England's tournaments have often been undermined by searing heat during the summer months, so the under-21's approach at Abe Lenstra Stadion was more considered.

 

Lita fizzed around chasing defenders but it was not the all-out Premier League-style Pearce's side had adopted earlier in the tournament.

 

Among the sea of orange was Steve McClaren, looking on as England's youngsters attempted to lift the trophy they last won in 1984, the year the eldest members of the current squad were born.

 

Home supporters roared when crowd-favourite Royston Drenthe touched the ball early on, and a cross from the dreadlocked midfielder almost fell for Rigters, with Leighton Baines clearing just in time.

 

Holland defender Gianni Zuiverloon had the first shot on goal but his volley, after exchanging passes with Daniel De Ridder, dipped over the crossbar.

 

In fact, Holland's first-half efforts were from long-range distance. De Ridder had a shot himself midway through the first half after Baines had lost the ball, with goalkeeper Scott Carson seeing the ball screw wide.

 

Ryan Babel, who has been linked with a move to Arsenal, had a couple of efforts which did not test Carson.

 

Lita's goal came six minutes from the break. In the country of total football, Lita's strike was total route-one.

 

Carson's long kick was flicked on by David Nugent and Lita spun around Ron Vlaar and volleyed in at the near post, sparking the crazed celebrations just like his first two goals of the tournament.

 

After missing a penalty and an open goal at the start of the competition, Lita's strikes have taken him to the top of the goalscoring charts.

 

He could have extended his tally early in the second half but his free-kick struck the post. Vlaar was given a caution for flattening Ashley Young to set up the chance.

 

In slightly cooler conditions, it became a case of stifling the hosts. Carson beat away a long-range effort from Hedwiges Maduro, with Taylor blocking the follow-up effort from Rigters.

 

The home fans were urging their side forward but England remained a threat on the counter-attack.

 

Coach Foppe De Haan took off skipper Vlaar, who headed down the tunnel, and Roy Beerens was brought on for an attacking threat for the last quarter of normal time.

 

Bookings for Noble and Reo-Coker meant the Hammers pair would miss the final, but a late surge by Holland meant they were required for extra-time.

 

The equaliser came from Beerens' cross getting headed across the face of the goal by Ryan Donk, with Rigters steering the ball in with his scissor kick.

 

Taylor was limping badly but had to continue as Pearce had used his substitutes. Onuoha picked up a knock and had to leave the field, meaning England were a man down - but they managed to get to penalties.

 

Reo-Coker, Justin Hoyte and Matt Derbyshire missed for England, with Drenthe, Arnold Kruiswijk and De Ridder failing for Holland.

 

But Ferdinand's miss proved most costly, with Gianni Zuiverloon netting his second spot-kick of the shoot-out to win it for the Dutch.

The Penalties

 

â?¢ Ashley Young sends Boy Waterman the wrong way - Eng 1 Hol 0

â?¢ Ryan Babel sends Scott Carson the wrong way - Eng 1 Hol 1

â?¢ James Milner only just beats the Dutch keeper - Eng 2 Hol 1

â?¢ Royston Drenthe hits the Carson's left post - Eng 2 Hol 1

â?¢ Mark Noble fires past Waterman whose fingertips are not enough - Eng 3 Hol 1

â?¢ Tim Janssen rolls the ball in - Eng 3 Hol 2

â?¢ Waterman saves Justin Hoyte's weak effort - Eng 3 Hol 2

â?¢ Roy Beerens calmly slots the ball past Carson - Eng 3 Hol 3

â?¢ Matt Derbyshire sends Waterman the wrong way - Eng 4 Hol 3

â?¢ Hedwinges Maduro sends Carson the wrong way - Eng 4 Hol 4

â?¢ Anton Ferdinand beats Waterman - Eng 5 Hol 4

â?¢ Carson is sent the wrong way by Daniel de Ridder - Eng 5 Hol 5

â?¢ Carson fools his Dutch counterpart with a confident effort - Eng 6 Hol 5

â?¢ Gianni Zuiverloon scores - Eng 6 Hol 6

â?¢ Liam Rosenior thumps the ball past Waterman - Eng 7 Hol 6

â?¢ Maceo Rigters strokes the ball past Carson - Eng 7 Hol 7

â?¢ Nigel Reo-Coker's shot is saved by Waterman - Eng 7 Hol 7

â?¢ Arnold Kruiswijk skies his shot over the bar - Eng 7 Hol 7

â?¢ A limping Steven Taylor sends Waterman the wrong way - Eng 8 Hol 7

â?¢ Waterman scuffs his shot but Carson dives the wrong way - Eng 8 Hol 8

â?¢ Ashley Young fires confidently past Waterman - Eng 9 Hol 8

â?¢ Beerens beats Carson who guesses correctly - Eng 9 Hol 9

â?¢ James Milner sends Waterman the wrong way - Eng 10 Hol 9

â?¢ Drenthe makes up for his earlier miss by thrashing the ball home - Eng 10 Hol 10

â?¢ Waterman dives the right way but Nobel's shot goes under Waterman - Eng 11 Hol 10

â?¢ Maduro rolls the ball in - Eng 11 Hol 11

â?¢ Hoyte, who missed earlier, sends Waterman the wrong way - Eng 12 Hol 11

â?¢ Janssen lifts the ball past Carson - Eng 12 Hol 12

â?¢ Waterman makes his second save by blocking Derbyshire's shot - Eng 12 Hol 12

â?¢ Carson saves from De Ridder - Eng 12 Hol 12

â?¢ Ferdinand hits the bar - Eng 12 Hol 12

â?¢ Carson dives the right way but Zuiverloon's beats him and Eng - Eng 12 Hol 13

 

ESPN Soccernet 21/06/07

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Winning a title is good, retaining one even greater.

Would be nice to see a consecutive EC for the Dutch.

 

Little disappointed about the Portuguese not making it through their group. We now need to beat Italy for an Olympic ticket in 2008.

 

Goodluck in the finals Limbo :up:

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Thanks Zaad,

 

Funny thing is that this years team is not rated as strong as the one that won the title two years ago.

 

The Dutch team qualified for the first time since the 5tees for the Olympic football tournament!

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same old Dutchies,always cheating..... :eek:

 

first they score a Goal which would not be allowed if an Englishman had scored it.

we all know that English Teams in Europe get penalised if any Player raises his foot more than 3 inches off the pitch..... :cussing:

 

then during the Pens the Dutch Coach invades the pitch to argue with the Ref about his decision to let an England Player leave the pitch and not take his Pen.

while he might have had a point because it meant changing the order in which the English took their Pens,he broke the law and should have received some sort of card..... :banghead:

 

but then what does he do............

changes his order of Penalty takers which is against the rules.........

how the fuck did did the Dutchies get away with that?.

 

oh,i know.

Hosts,current holders and the Team the Authorities wanted in the Final..... :doah:

 

never trust a Dutchie is what i say...... :shakehead

 

except KS.........Number 1 Dutchie...... :up:

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Well, it ain't a beauty contest.

If we need to chop some English bacon to get to the next level then chop chop chop it is :up:

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Well said Zaad.

 

As a matter of fact, you're good at this chopping game, too good actually. :hmmm:

Italy beat you guys to a spot at the Olympics, BTW.

 

Did I hear something, is Sayjann whining again? :whatever:

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