An anxious wait, then complete heartbreak. No one could question the effort, the heart or the drive of Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses in this game, but scoring six goals against Scotland was not enough to close the goal difference gap on the Netherlands, because the Dutch scored a fourth against Belgium deep in added time to secure top spot and progress from their Nations League group ahead of England.

It was an extraordinary mountain and a Lauren James masterclass and gut-busting display from Lucy Bronze were not enough to lift them to the summit. The damage had been done in the preceding games, two poor goals conceded against the Dutch at Wembley, a 3-2 defeat in Belgium in October and a 2-1 loss to the Netherlands in September, will be full of regrets. However, there will be what‑ifs either way, the first goal conceded in Utrecht appearing offside in the buildup.

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