Mary Earps: England goalkeeper says she let the Lionesses down with error for Netherlands’ second goal in 3-2 Wembley win | Football News

England goalkeeper Mary Earps could not hide her disappointment in herself after a costly error in the Lionesses’ 3-2 Wembley win over the Netherlands.

Sarina Wiegman’s side needed to win by two goals against the Dutch to put their Nations League hopes – and Team GB’s Paris 2024 Olympic Games aspirations – back in their hands.

How England can qualify for the Nations League finals

  • England will go through to the Nations League finals if they win away at Scotland and the Netherlands fail to win at home to Belgium. Both games are on Tuesday night.
  • England can also go through if the Netherlands win as well, but the Lionesses need to win by four more goals than the Netherlands’ margin of victory. For example, Netherlands 1-0 Belgium and Scotland 0-5 England would be enough for Sarina Wiegman’s side.

But with England already 1-0 down at Wembley, Earps let Lineth Beerensteyn’s effort in at her near post, despite getting a glove to it, to double the Netherlands’ advantage.

Lineth Beerensteyn celebrates scoring for Netherlands vs England at Wembley
Lineth Beerensteyn celebrates scoring for Netherlands vs England at Wembley

The Lionesses came back to win 3-2 thanks to second half goals from Georgia Stanway, Lauren Hemp and Ella Toone to keep their Nations League hopes alive – but England’s fate is out of their hands and Earps cut a frustrated figure at full-time.

“The girls were unbelievable to come back into the game like that, they were unbelievable,” Earps told ITV4. “The subs came on and impacted the game. I’m just sorry that my performance has cost the team tonight.

Asked what went through her mind after the error, Earps replied: “Words I definitely can’t say on TV. That will hold me for a long time.

Earps reacts at the full-time whistle, after England clawed back a 3-2 win
Earps reacts at the full-time whistle, after England clawed back a 3-2 win

“I really let the team down today. And I’m really gutted, really, really gutted. It could have been a special night at Wembley.

“The team were unbelievable. Don’t get me [wrong]. The girls were unbelievable, the way they played it around and showed great patience at times with a real tenacity and intensity to their play. The girls were phenomenal.”

Wiegman: Of course she didn’t let us down

Wiegman completely rejected Earps’ suggestions that she let her team down – saying that mistakes like the England goalkeeper’s are “part of the game”.

“I spoke to her very shortly and I don’t want her to talk like that,” she told her post-match press conference. “We win as a team and we lose as a team and everybody makes mistakes.

“That is part of the game, of course she didn’t let the team down. Everyone gives everything, you only let your team down when you don’t put any effort in the game. And we didn’t do that.”

Wiegman did say she was disappointed with the Netherlands’ second goal but always believed her side could turn it around after the break.

Georgia Stanway pulls one back for England
Georgia Stanway pulls one back for England

“I was pretty calm. I was very disappointed they scored the second goal, I didn’t think we played bad in the first half,” she added.

“The first time they came on our half of the pitch they scored. Still, I didn’t think we played bad.

“We needed more. We truly believed we could turn it around. That’s what we said at half time. We said ‘score one goal, and they will be shaky’, because we had some good press moments. We never lost trust.”

Mead: We back Mary 100 per cent

Returning England forward Beth Mead admitted some of the Lionesses had to put an arm around Earps after the game.

“Plenty of us have already done that (made a mistake),” Mead told Sky Sports. “Mary has been a vital part of this team being successful.

“It happens, unfortunately, being a goalkeeper. It’s unlucky it’s a goal.

Beth Mead (right) looks dejected at full-time after making her first England appearance in a year
Beth Mead (right) looks dejected at full-time after making her first England appearance in a year

“Whatever people are saying, we don’t care. We back Mary 100 per cent. She’s an incredible team-mate and person, and she deserves every success that she’s had.”

For Mead, a half-time substitute at Wembley, it was her first England appearance in a year following a serious knee injury, and the Arsenal winger was delighted to be back on the international stage.

“It’s a dream come true, it’s a long time since I had the chance to play for England. High pressure game, 2-0 down and to come on with a bit of expectation to do something, it doesn’t go amiss. But I’m so happy to be out with the team again. I thought we were incredible in the second half, but we just didn’t get that other goal.

“Overall we played a good game, they went up twice and scored twice. That’s not ideal, but we were ruthless in the second half and much more direct. We weren’t shooting for shooting’s sake and we got our rewards.

“We got three goals past a very good Netherlands team in the second half, I don’t think many teams get to say that. But we left ourselves a bit short in the first half.

“I’m feeling better each game and training session. I’ve worked hard to get to this point – the days people don’t see. There were days I wanted to cry in the gym but days like today make it worthwhile.”

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