A final quarter strike from Marloes Keetels guided the Netherlands to a 1-0 victory over England in their Rabo EuroHockey Championships semi-final clash.
It was a thrilling encounter between the sides with 10,000 fans filling the Wagener Stadium in Amsterdam and the action on the pitch matched the atmosphere in the stands.
The Dutch go on to face Belgium in the final while England will now play Germany for the bronze medal on Saturday at 4pm.
It was England who made the brighter start, breaking down the right Susannah Townsend made her way into the circle before unleashing a strike at goal, but Anne Veenendaal was able to kick away.
The Dutch responded strongly and some stunning defending from Shona McCallin on the line saw her hook away a fierce effort from a penalty corner before later blocking Frederique Matla’s effort before the first break.
A tighter and tense second quarter followed and the loud Dutch crowd were quietened as England ended the half strongly as Danson spun and shot at goal before winning a penalty corner which was cleared.
Just before the break Zoe Shipperley fired a cross to Sophie Bray but her touch could only take the ball wide as the sides entered the break level.
The game continued to be played at a flying pace with the hosts settling into their rhythm and pinning England back. However stoic defending and tenacity from the English backline and two eye-catching tackles from Hollie Webb kept the Netherlands at bay.
Four minutes into the final quarter the deadlock was eventually broken. England lost possession in midfield allowing the Dutch to break, Maddie Hinch made an initial save but Keetels collected the rebound and fired quickly into the goal with aplomb to put her side ahead.
There was to be no way back for England, as the clock ran down they removed Hinch for a kicking back in the closing minutes but this couldn’t change the outcome as the Dutch held on to their lead to reach the final.
England: Maddie Hinch (GK), Hollie Webb, Anna Toman, Laura Unsworth, Giselle Ansley, Susannah Townsend, Shona McCallin, Hannah Martin, Lily Owsley, Alex Danson (C), Sophie Bray, Zoe Shipperley, Ellie Rayer, Jo Hunter, Sarah Haycroft, Emily Defroand, Ellie Watton
Subs (Unused): Amy Tennant (GK)
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