Euro 2017: Netherlands' Road to Enschede

The host nation have earned a place in the final of Euro 2017, but how did they get there?

Euro 2017: Netherlands' Road to Enschede
The Netherlands celebrating their semi-final victory | Image: Getty

The Netherlands, the host nation, have reached the final of Euro 2017 after a colossal victory against England in the semi-finals.

They face Denmark on Sunday, with both sides making their European Championship final debut as a new name will be crowned champions. Oranje haven't had an easy ride to the final, having to defeat three higher ranked sides to make it this far - but will they trip at the last hurdle?

Group Stages: 9 points in 3 matches

Sarina Wiegman's side finished top of Group A after three victories, making them one of only two teams, with England, to finish the group stages on the maximum nine points. 

The two finalists are no strangers to each other; Denmark and the Dutch played each other in the group, with the 1-0 scoreline favouring the host nation courtesy of a penalty. Norway and Belgium were the other two opponents, with 1-0 and 2-1 wins earning them the top spot.

Belgium are the only opponents in the competition to score against the Netherlands, but it was the latter that got the win after a solid attacking and defensive display.

Jackie Groenen and Lieke Martens were two stand-out players in the group stages, showing their creativity and skill set which was second to none.

Quarter-final: Comfortable win over Sweden

After a practically flawless performance in the group stages, the Netherlands had a not so easy task of facing Group B runners-up, Sweden, in the quarter-finals. 

The Swedes were defeated 2-0, outclassed by the home side. Goals from Martens and Vivianne Miedema secured a semi-final place which was thoroughly deserved.

This victory was the turning point in the competition where the Netherlands were considered in serious contention to go all the way.

Despite this, they still had to get past England, the only other team to finish on nine points in the group stage and concede just one goal prior to the semi-finals. On paper it was a tough task, but one that the Netherlands relished.

Semi-final: Emphatic victory against England to reach final

A 3-0 triumph in any semi-final match is unprecedented, but the Netherlands managed to pull it off against a side ranked seven places higher than them. To make things sweeter, they also did it in front of a record attendance for a Dutch women's football, with 26,093 spectators watching the game first-hand.

Looking comfortable in possession and dangerous in the final third, the Dutch earned a 1-0 lead at the half-time break thanks to a Miedema header.

Although England did have chances to get themselves on the scoreboard, Oranje were always one step ahead, unable to let England find frailties in their defensive line.

The attacking force and firepower the Netherlands possessed looked unmatched throughout the tournament, as the defence of England struggled to prevent each attack from endangering their fate. 

Although their second and third goal came after individual errors from Mark Sampson's side, not many could argue that the scoreline wasn't fair. They dominated the majority of proceedings and a finalist spot was thoroughly deserved.

The final between the Netherlands and Denmark kicks off at 4pm UK time, and will be televised on Channel 4/Eurosport. 

Women's Football