England’s run of semi-final misery

England’s run of semi-final misery

England’s hopes of a first trophy in 53 years are over after losing to Holland in the semi-finals of the Nations League.

The Three Lions have lost each of their last four semi-final ties since winning the World Cup in 1966, all of them after extra time.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at England’s last-four misery.

World Cup 1990

England were involved in a penalty shoot out for the first time and it came in their biggest game since 1966. Gary Lineker, Peter Beardsley and David Platt scored the first three spot-kicks, but Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle missed as West Germany won 4-3 in the shoot out to reach a third successive final.
The game had finished 1-1, with Germany taking the lead through a deflected Andreas Brehme free-kick and Lineker equalising for England with 10 minutes remaining.

European Championships 1996

Gareth Southgate after missing penalty
Gareth Southgate dejected after missing the penalty which ended England’s chances at Euro ’96 (Sean Dempsey/PA)

Six years on and it was penalties again – and the Germans again. It was the summer that football nearly came home and hosts England were in front after only two minutes against their old rivals thanks to Alan Shearer’s header. However, the lead was short lived as Stefan Kuntz quickly equalised and it ended 1-1.

England held their nerve and scored their first five penalties, but so did Germany. Gareth Southgate was first up in sudden death and his desperately tame effort was easily saved, before Andreas Moller’s emphatic finish ended England’s dreams.

World Cup 2018

Croatia v England – FIFA World Cup 2018 – Semi Final – Luzhniki Stadium
Mario Mandzukic scores Croatia’s second goal (Tim Goode/PA)

England’s hopes of a first World Cup final since 1966 came to an agonising end as they lost 2-1 after extra time to Croatia in Moscow. Southgate’s side led through Kieran Trippier’s fifth-minute free-kick before Ivan Perisic equalised in the second half.

England had lost momentum after half-time and it continued into extra time, where Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic scored the winning goal in the 109th minute.

Nations League 2019

England’s hopes of winning the inaugural Nations League went up in smoke in calamitous fashion on Thursday night as dreadful defending allowed Holland to seal a 3-1 extra-time victory and progress to the final. Again, England led as Marcus Rashford scored from the penalty spot in the first half but Matthijs De Ligt headed the equaliser after 73 minutes.

VAR denied England what might have been a late winner as Jesse Lingard’s finish was ruled out for a marginal offside and it was an extra-time semi-final loss for the second successive summer for Southgate’s team as the Dutch scored twice – Quincy Promes’ clincher coming after a Kyle Walker own goal – following mistakes by John Stones and then Ross Barkley.