A brief history of England and the Netherlands at major tournaments

Marco van Basten celebrates scoring against England at the Euros in 1988
Marco van Basten celebrates scoring against England at the Euros in 1988Profimedia
England face the Netherlands at EURO 2024 on Wednesday evening in Dortmund, aiming to reach their first-ever major tournament final on foreign soil.

Much has been made of Gareth Southgate's side's slow progress as the Three Lions have bundled their way through the group stages and early knockout rounds, but a much-improved performance in the penalties victory over Switzerland has got English fans dreaming once again.

The Dutch stand in their way, themselves looking to reach their first final since their 1988 Euros triumph, the country's only major tournament success.


Both are considered relatively big teams on the European stage, so naturally, they've crossed paths a few times in the past.

In 22 meetings between the pair, England has won six, drawn nine, and lost seven times - mostly in friendlies and the one Nations League fixture in recent years (which the Dutch won 3-1 at Wembley in 2019).

The first fixture between the two nations occurred in 1935, with the Three Lions prevailing 1-0 in an Amsterdam-hosted exhibition.

Here, Flashscore reviews the three meetings between England and the Netherlands at previous major competitions.

Euro 1988 (Group Stage): Netherlands 3-1 England

A big game for a big player, Marco van Basten, then a young prodigy, announced himself on the world stage with a stunning hat-trick against the Three Lions.

His second goal, a stunning volley from a ridiculously acute angle, is considered one of the greatest ever scored in a major tournament.

England pulled one back through Bryan Robson, but the Netherlands dominated the match and went on to win the tournament.

World Cup 1990 (Group Stage): Netherlands 0-0 England

They then faced one another for the second time at the 1990 World Cup in Italy.

The match proved to be a tight, cagey and largely forgettable affair, with neither side able to break the deadlock.

The Dutch, still riding high from their Euro 1988 win, were a force to be reckoned with, but England, under Bobby Robson, defended resolutely.

The goalless draw suited both teams as they both progressed to the knockout stages.

Euro 1996 (Group Stage): England 4-1 Netherlands

However, the last chapter of the current trilogy proved a much more memorable one - at least for the English.

In a "Battle of Britain" style atmosphere on home turf, England, managed by Terry Venables and featuring now-manager Gareth Southgate in defence, produced a dominant performance, something not seen for a long time by fans starved of much competitive action.

Two goals from Alan Shearer and another couple by Teddy Sheringham sealed a famous - and somewhat unexpected - victory.

The Dutch, featuring stars like Dennis Bergkamp, Clarence Seedorf, and Patrick Kluivert (who scored their goal), were outplayed. The result marked a turning point for hosts England, with momentum shifting towards positivity and belief until everything came crashing down in the semi-final loss to eventual winners Germany.

Follow the Euro 2024 semi-finals with Flashscore


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