England lose to Netherlands in penalty shootout, crash out of U17 Euro
It was penalty heartache again for England in the European Under-17 Championship as Steve Cooper's side were beaten by the Netherlands in the semifinals on Thursday night.
The Young Lions lost last year's final in a shootout and after a goalless draw at Chesterfield's Proact Stadium, it was disappointment once more.
The Netherlands had six successful attempts before Arsenal's Folarin Balogun saw his kick saved by Joey Koorevaar.
The Netherlands started brightly and an early corner caused a scramble inside the England penalty area as Luca Ashby-Hammond bravely saved from Ramon Hendriks at point-blank range, taking the full force of the shot in his face.
Ashby-Hammond was called into action again shortly afterwards, pushing away a 25-yard effort from Mohammed Ihattaren before Daishawn Redan missed the target with a header.
England survived and improved as half-time approached, creating good chances of their own.
Bukayo Saka should have done better than send his effort over the crossbar before Faustino Anjorin saw a low shot clip the foot of the far post after a mazy run.
Bobby Duncan went close with a free kick that went underneath the defensive wall but narrowly wide before Duncan and Arvin Appiah both just failed to connect with Saka's low cross as they slid in at the far post.
Ihattaren dragged a shot across the face of goal early in the second half before failing to turn Ryan Gravenberch's cross on target after 67 minutes.
The same player had a chance right at the end of the match but sent his header wide before the Netherlands prevailed to set up a final showdown with Italy on Sunday.