England faced heartbreak as they suffered an abrupt exit from the UEFA Women's Nations League, despite a resounding 6-0 victory over Scotland at Hampden. The Lionesses, under Sarina Wiegman, had aspired to secure a spot in the competition's semi-finals, but their dreams were dashed when the Netherlands scored a late goal against Belgium, securing the top spot in Group A1.
This devastating outcome also extinguished Team GB's aspirations for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Beth Mead, expressing the team's devastation, noted that despite their outstanding performance against Scotland, the Netherlands' result left them narrowly short of progression.
Despite England celebrating their impressive win at Hampden, news of the Netherlands' decisive fourth goal spread quickly, ending their hopes of advancing in the tournament. Mead, who scored her side's fourth goal, revealed the team's disappointment, stating they did everything they could on the pitch.
England needed to outperform the Netherlands by three goals, but their second-place finish in Group A1, with an inferior goal difference, meant they fell agonizingly short. Mead acknowledged the team's hard work throughout the camp and their pride in their performances.
Mead highlighted the meticulous planning by Wiegman, who ensured the players were informed about the group's standings and what was required of them. Although England rallied with late goals, their efforts were in vain.
Reflecting on the tournament, Mead suggested that earlier setbacks, including defeats to the Netherlands and Belgium, proved costly. Despite the disappointment, she expressed confidence in the team's resilience and growth, anticipating a stronger comeback.
Sarina Wiegman, proud of her players despite the unfavorable outcome, emphasized the team's experiences and the determination to keep growing. While acknowledging the difficulty in overcoming the disappointment, she expressed confidence in the team's ability to reach new heights.
Looking ahead, Wiegman discussed plans for non-competitive games in February, acknowledging the players' desire to participate in every major tournament and highlighting the team's commitment to progressing to the next level.