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England crush Scotland 6-0 but fail to secure Olympic qualification for Great Britain

England’s Ella Toone and teammates look dejected after Team GB failed to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics. CARL RECINE / REUTERS

England’s bid to secure Olympic qualification for Great Britain came to an agonizing end as their 6-0 rout of Scotland in the Women’s Nations League group stage counted for nothing on Tuesday, December 5. Sarina Wiegman’s team needed to finish in first place in Group A1 to progress to next year’s Nations League finals and stay in contention to secure a place at the 2024 Olympics.

As the nominated nation on behalf of Team GB in the qualification race for Paris next year, England fell painfully short as their demolition of Scotland in Glasgow was rendered irrelevant by the Netherlands’ 4-0 win over Belgium. England would have qualified for the Nations League finals and remained in Olympic contention if they won by a margin three goals better than the Netherlands’ victory.

Read more Article réservé à nos abonnés Women’s football: Scotland takes on England amid bizarre Olympic predicament

When Lucy Bronze scored England’s sixth goal in stoppage-time at Hampden Park, the World Cup runners-up were just seconds away from doing exactly that with the Netherlands’ leading 3-0. But Damaris Egurrola’s scored in the final moments of stoppage-time for the Netherlands, giving them a first-place finish on goal difference and qualification at England’s expense.

“Devastated. I think we did everything we possibly could on the pitch. I thought the team were incredible,” said forward Beth Mead. “Unfortunately it wasn’t in our hands and the Netherlands got the four goals. So fair play to them, but obviously devastated to miss out on such small margins.” “We got the goal late on and we thought we had maybe got over the line, but it wasn’t meant to be. “It’s a tough one. We let ourselves down maybe earlier on in the competition.”

A conflict of interest was widely discussed before the game as a victory for the Lionesses was the only way any Scottish players would be able to feature at the Olympics. Pedro Martinez Losa’s already-relegated side hardly erased those concerns with a lackluster display against a fired-up England team, who had come from behind for a dramatic victory over the Netherlands last week.

Alex Greenwood headed the European champions’ opener followed by two goals in a minute from Lauren James. Mead netted just before the break and Fran Kirby added the fifth, with Bronze’s last-gasp goal ultimately proving pointless as England’s players learned their fate seconds after the final whistle.

Le Monde with AFP



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