England Surrender Advantage

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar June 9, 2019 14:27

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England Surrender Advantage

By Satish Sekar in Guimarães © Satish Sekar (June 6th)

Amends

On the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings England surrendered a golden opportunity to claim a rare trophy – le Tournoi over 20 years ago being the last men’s one at senior level. Defensive calamities by John Stones and Ross Barkley gifted the match to the Dutch along with an opportunity for silverware and also automatic qualification to Euro2020.

England were awarded a penalty when Mathijs de Ligt brought down Marcus Rashford. The Manchester United striker, who was replaced by Harry Kane at half time converted the spot-kick. England held the lead until de Ligt made amends with a powerful header from Memphis Depay’s corner.

Chances came and went until extra time, although England will feel hard done by as a VAR check cut Jesse Lingard’s celebrations short – he was marginally offside. It was the right decision, but that didn’t stop complaints that VAR was ruining the game, as referees’ decisions were being second-guessed. VAR was only for clear and obvious decisions, but after the review, it was clear and obvious – just offside.

Calamitous Errors

With 97 minutes played a terrible defensive lapse by Stones gifted possession to Depay. His shot was well saved by Jordan Pickford to his right, but with Quincy Promes lurking Kyle Walker put it into his own net. England chased an equaliser, but with time running out Barkley’s disastrous back-pass put Depay in. His shot was parried across the goal for Promes to finish the job.

The Netherlands were through. Despite being the Premier League’s Player of the Year and a candidate for the best in the world this season, England fans booed every touch by Virgil van Dijk. He won’t mind a bit. 30 years ago Dutch great Ruud Gullit took booing as a compliment.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar June 9, 2019 14:27