England's Alex Greenwood and Lucy Bronze look dejected after Team GB failed to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic [Source: Reuters]
England’s Lionesses thrashed Scotland 6-0 but it was not enough to keep alive Team GB’s dreams of a Paris Olympic berth after late drama saw the Netherlands pip them to top spot in their Nations League group.
Lucy Bronze scored a last-gasp goal for the Lionesses, who briefly celebrated, believing it was enough to win Group A1 and move into the Nations League semi-finals, but the Netherlands’ Damaris Egurrola netted twice in added time as they beat Belgium 4-0 to clinch top spot.
Both countries finished with 12 points but the Dutch edged England on goal difference 8-7.
England came from behind to beat the Netherlands 3-2 on Friday in a must-win game to set up Tuesday’s thrilling finale.
Lauren James scored two in the first half less than two minutes apart, while Mead netted in her first start with the World Cup finalists in more than a year due to a knee injury.
Alex Greenwood and Fran Kirby also scored for the Lionesses who were ruthless in their quest for goals, retrieving the ball from the net with no celebration to run back to the centre circle after each one.
England keeper Mary Earps, who was “gutted” after conceding twice against the Netherlands on Friday, made a spectacular last-gasp save before Bronze added England’s sixth with her head in the 93rd minute, pumping both fists in celebration.
Yet the celebration soon turned to sadness at Hampden Park.
The two finalists of the inaugural Nations League tournament – or top three if Olympic host France are one of the finalists – earn berths in the Paris Games. Germany’s 0-0 draw with Wales on Tuesday was enough for them to clinch top spot in their group and move on to the Feb. 23-28 four-team knockout round.
France and Spain clinched top spot in their groups.