GLASGOW, Scotland -- England hammered Scotland 6-0 at Hampden Park on Tuesday evening but it was not enough to overtake Netherlands at the top of their Nations League group, meaning Team GB will not play in the women's football competition at Paris 2024 Olympics.
The Lionesses were the nominated team to qualify Team GB for the Olympics and had to reach the Nations League final to take one of the two available spots.
Netherlands headed into Tuesday night's final round of group stage matches level on points with England, but with a superior goal difference by a margin of three goals. So for England to top the group, they either needed Belgium to take points off the Netherlands in the night's other match, or to pin back that goal difference with a commanding win in Glasgow.
England had done enough to sit on top of the group as both games moved into added time until Damaris Egurrola scored for Netherlands in the 91st minute, which put the Dutch back into first place on goal difference. Moments later Lucy Bronze's goal put England 6-0 up, which was going to do the job and the final whistle blew.
As England's players stood around waiting for the other game to finish, Egurrola netted again in the 95th minute to seal a 4-0 victory, and in the process win the Nations League group for Netherlands, outdoing England on goal difference by just one.
"I'm very disappointed," said England manager Sarina Wiegman, who would have coached Team GB at the Olympics. "l I felt we delivered tonight.
"The team showed lots of character but we started really well. I thought when Lucy scored, we're going to get this. Then the Netherlands scored, and that's how close it was. I was really proud of the performance, but we're not through, and it's very disappointing.
"If you don't get through on goal difference, it's not enough. I still think what we've done, the Euros, getting to the final in the World Cup, having hardly [any] rest, going into the first Nations League campaign and yes we had moments we struggled but we had moments where we did really well, but that's football."
England came into the match targeting a big win and were 4-0 to the good at half-time thanks to a header from Alex Greenwood, two long-range Lauren James strikes and one at the end of the first half from Beth Mead, in her first England start since September 2022.
Scotland only mustered a couple of decent chances, with Mary Earps doing well to stop a one-on-one with Kirsty Hanson, but nearly managed to get one back in the final throes of the match as Earps pushed a Martha Thomas header onto the post.
In the end the Dutch got the job done, while England's crushing victory was not enough. England were in complete control throughout but it's the Dutch who will face a semifinal against either France, Germany or Spain in February.
"We were waiting, those were long minutes and we thought we'd done it," Wiegman added. "And then it was obvious we didn't make it. And I said I don't know what to say -- I could only say I was proud of the performance and what we did and this whole week, but it wasn't enough."