Scott sends England to final

England 2 Netherlands 1

A powerful header deep into extra-time from substitute Jill Scott sent England's women through to their first European Championship final for 25 years with victory over the Netherlands last night.

There were only four minutes of extra-time remaining in Tampere when midfielder Scott rose highest to meet Karen Carney's corner and put England back into a decisive lead.

Scott, who plays for Everton, powered the ball past the despairing grasp of Dutch goalkeeper Loes Geurts. England now head to Helsinki where on Thursday they will meet either Germany or Norway, who battle it out in the second semi-final today.

Coach Hope Powell praised England's approach and said they had always had the final in their sights. "I think we were the better team but better teams have played and lost and certainly played and lost in this tournament. The main thing is we got there in the end.

"Our main aim was to get out of the group but the ultimate aim was to get ourselves into the final. We're there now and the next step, of course, is that we want to win it."

England took the lead in the 61st minute when Eniola Aluko, reacting quickest to Alex Scott's blocked shot, cut the ball back for Kelly Smith to turn in. However, forced to push forward, the Dutch hit back immediately. Manon Melis picked up the ball on the right and crossed for Marlous Pieete to fire home past Rachel Brown.

The outcome was settled in the 116th minute, however, when Jill Scott popped up to provide a shot at a first ever European crown for England.

England: Brown, Stoney, Johnson, Asante, A Scott, Williams, K Smith, Chapman, Clarke (J Scott, 91), Aluko (Sanderson, 70) S Smith (Carney, 46). Substitutes not used: Chamberlain, White, Unitt, Handley, Westwood, Bassett, Buet, Bardsley. Netherlands: Geurts, Hogewoning, Koster, Meulen, Bito (De Boer, 117), Pieete (Van de Ven, 86), Hoogendijk, Griffioen, Melis, Smit, Stevens (Van den Sanden, 120). Substitutes not used: Christ, Brummel, Heiligenberg, Spitse, De Vries, Van Dalen, De Ridder, Durgardein. Referee: G Gaal (Hungary).

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