WHEN England take on the Netherlands in the semi-finals of Euro 2024 this evening, it will be the 23rd meeting between the two nations. The Northern Echo looks back at five memorable previous encounters…

 June 2019 – England 1 Netherlands 3 (AET)

John Stones shows his disappointment during England's Nations League defeat to the Netherlands in 2019John Stones shows his disappointment during England's Nations League defeat to the Netherlands in 2019 (Image: PA)

The most recent meeting between the two teams came in the semi-finals of the Nations League in the summer of 2019.

England took a first-half lead in Guimaraes, with Marcus Rashford converting from the penalty spot after he had been fouled by Matthijs de Ligt, who was robbed while trying to play a back-pass in his own area.

De Ligt atoned for his error by claiming a Dutch equaliser in the second half, and after Jesse Lingard had what would have been a late winner ruled out by VAR, England imploded in extra-time.

John Stones hesitated in possession, losing the ball to Memphis Depay, and while Jordan Pickford saved the Dutch striker’s shot, Kyle Walker could only bundle the rebound into his own goal under pressure from Quincy Promes.

There was more calamitous defending for the Netherlands’ third goal, with Ross Barkley losing the ball deep in his own half after a poor pass from Stones, enabling Depay to tee up Quincy Promes, who rolled home.

England: Pickford; Walker, Maguire, Stones, Chilwell; Rice (Alli 106), Delph (Henderson 77); Sterling, Barkley, Sancho (Lingard 61); Rashford (Kane 46).

June 1996 – England 4 Netherlands 1

Alan Shearer scores against the Netherlands at Euro 96Alan Shearer scores against the Netherlands at Euro 96 (Image: PA)

The best-ever display by an England team at a major tournament? Quite possibly, with Terry Venables’ side ripping apart a strong Dutch line-up in the group stage of Euro 96.

Roared on by a partisan Wembley crowd, England claimed the lead midway through the first half when Danny Blind felled Paul Ince in the area, enabling Alan Shearer to step up to score from the spot.

England were rampant after the break, scoring three goals in the space of 11 minutes either side of the hour mark to establish a four-goal lead. Teddy Sheringham scored two, with Shearer claiming the other, as England’s slick passing ripped the Dutch defence apart.

The pick of the goals was Shearer’s second, with the number nine firing home after Sheringham slid him the ball sideways to round off a superb passing move that had the mercurial Paul Gascoigne at its core.

Patrick Kluivert claimed a Dutch consolation with 12 minutes remaining, but England’s dominance was pronounced as they headed into the knockout stages of a competition that would eventually see them suffer penalty heartbreak at the hands of West Germany in the semi-finals.

“We took on Holland at total football and beat them,” said Shearer recently. “It was a performance I don’t think England have bettered in my living memory.”

England: Seaman; Neville, Adams, Southgate, Pearce; Anderton, Ince, Gascoigne, McManaman; Sheringham, Shearer.

October 1993 – Netherlands 2 England 0

Ronald Koeman brings down England's David PlattRonald Koeman brings down England's David Platt (Image: PA)

Do I not like orange? The game that heralded the demise of Graham Taylor is remembered for all the wrong reasons by England fans, with one of the most controversial refereeing decisions in the history of the national team sealing their side’s fate.

England needed a draw in Rotterdam to reach the 1994 World Cup finals in the United States, and when David Platt broke onto Andy Sinton’s long ball on the hour mark, they looked certain to take the lead, only for Ronald Koeman to tug the midfielder to the ground.

The referee, Karl-Josef Assenmacher, initially pointed to the penalty spot and looked certain to send Koeman off, only for the defender’s protestations to see him reverse his decision and award a free-kick on the edge of the box. Koeman was then booked rather than sent off.

“What are they being instructed,” raged Taylor, in footage subsequently shown on the documentary, ‘An Impossible Job’. “What sort of thing is happening here? Absolutely disgraceful.”

To make matters worse, not only did Koeman remain on the field, but the current manager of the Netherlands went on to open the scoring five minutes later with a direct free-kick, with Dennis Bergkamp adding a second goal soon after.

“It was a clear foul,” Koeman has said subsequently. “Nowadays, it would have been a red card for sure, but I was very happy that the referee said it was a free-kick and not a penalty.”

England: Seaman; Parker, Adams, Pallister, Dorigo; Merson, Ince, Palmer (Sinton 46), Sharpe; Merson (Wright 69); Shearer.

June 1988 – England 1 Netherlands 3

Marco van Basten celebrates after scoring against EnglandMarco van Basten celebrates after scoring against England (Image: PA)

The last time the European Championships were held in Germany (then West Germany), England met the Netherlands in a group game in Dusseldorf.

Sir Bobby Robson’s side were already in deep trouble after losing to the Republic of Ireland in their opening group game, and things were to get worse against the Marco van Basten-inspired Dutch.

England were actually the better team in the opening stages of the game, with Gary Lineker and Glenn Hoddle both hitting the post, but they fell behind just before half-time when Ruud Gullit dispossessed Gary Stevens and crossed for van Basten to swivel away from Tony Adams and shoot past Peter Shilton.

Bryan Robson equalised for England in the early stages of the second half, but the Dutch were in the groove and after Gullit laid on another inch-perfect pass for van Basten, the striker spun away from Adams once again before firing home.

Van Basten completed his hat-trick with 15 minutes remaining, connecting with a flick-on from a corner, and England went on to also lose their final group game against the Soviet Union to complete a miserable campaign.

England: Shilton; Stevens, Wright, Adams, Sansom; Steven, Robson, Hoddle, Barnes; Beardsley, Lineker.

November 1946 – England 8 Netherlands 2

The first meeting between England and the Netherlands came in 1935 and saw England scrape home via the only goal of the game. The second game between the two nations, however, was rather more one-sided.

England hosted the Dutch in a friendly played at Huddersfield’s Leeds Road ground in 1946 and scored eight goals, six of which came before the interval.

Tommy Lawton scored four for Walter Winterbottom’s side, with his tally including an 11-minute hat-trick scored between the 24th and 35th minutes.

There was a strong North-East look to the scoresheet, with Wearsider Raich Carter, famously of Sunderland but by then playing with Derby County, scoring twice and Middlesbrough-born Wilf Mannion, still then playing for his hometown club, also finding the net before the break.

Mannion’s fellow Teessider, George Hardwick, who was captaining the side, missed a penalty just before the interval, but England added a further second-half goal through Tom Finney.

The Netherlands’ goals were scored by Ko Bergman and Kick Smit, but England were able to reflect on a job well done, having also seen off Wales, thanks to two more Mannion goals, earlier in the month.

England: Swift; Scott, Hardwick; Wright, Franklin, Johnston; Finney, Carter, Lawton, Mannion, Langton.