There was consensus that the better team ultimately won as England edged past the Netherlands and into the final, though Mo Marley conceded she had begun to wonder if it was not her day.
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There was consensus that the better team ultimately prevailed as England edged the Netherlands 5-4 on penalties to go through to Saturday's final, though Mo Marley conceded she had begun to wonder if it was simply not her day. The England manager was left to rue a lack of quality until it really mattered in the shoot-out; for Hesterine de Reus there was scant consolation in going through the tournament unbeaten and unbreached, especially as England now meet a France side the Jong Oranje beat 2-0 in their opening game.
Mo Marley, England manager
We spoke about needing quality today, especially in their half, and we lacked a bit at times – whether tired legs or the emotion of the occasion, I'm not too sure. We need to work the ball a bit better. On possession we probably deserved to win the game but when chances go amiss you start to think maybe it's not your day.
We haven't practiced [penalties] at this tournament. It was a case of technique – we ask the girls to show they're technically better than everyone else. Five out of five shows we have that, it's just a pity we couldn't always show it during the game! When it's tight like that you've got to be a bit smarter as we were playing a lot of percentage balls through.
It's irrelevant who is in the final – to even get there you have to be a really good team so it's even. The team with the quality on the day will lift the trophy.
Hesterine de Reus, Netherlands coach
All the girls are very disappointed but I think England deserve their place in the final. They played very well, had some good chances; we defended well but England were just a bit better than we were. It was very difficult for us to get at England's goal – we only had a few chances in extra time. During the first 90 minutes we could only defend.
The girls are very upset because it's France in the final so it could be that France go on to lift the cup and we beat them 2-0. It's very hard on them. They did a great job here, we got some good results but obviously we wanted to get into the final. That's how it goes.