On this day: Netherlands end England's World Cup hope

On this day: Holland end England's World Cup hope
© Getty Images
Twenty years ago today, England's chances of reaching the 1994 World Cup were all but ended in Rotterdam by the Netherlands.

It was pretty much win or bust for Graham Taylor's England when they made the trip to Rotterdam on this day 20 years ago.

Take maximum points and the Three Lions would be in pole position to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in America, but lose and their chances would be slim to say the least.

When the Netherlands visited Wembley earlier in the campaign they had battled back from a two-goal deficit to claim a share of the spoils courtesy of a late Peter van Vossen penalty.

This time around the Dutch were the favourites, but in what was a crucial clash for both nations, England started the brighter and went close on two occasions through Tony Adams and David Platt.

Meanwhile, up the other end Frank Rijkaard had what appeared to be a clearly good goal disallowed for offside. Subsequent television replays showed that the Ajax midfielder had indeed been onside when he inherited possession.

Still, the sides went into the break level, which despite Norway's presence around the top of the standings, was a better result for England.

The moment that many will remember, and the one that is viewed as pivotal in England's failure to qualify, occurred 15 minutes after the restart.

Sampdoria midfielder Platt burst through on goal, only to be hauled down by Dutch defender Ronald Koeman, who was the last man. A red card looked inevitable, but referee Karl-Josef Assenmacher only opted to book the skipper.

To rub salt into England's wounds, five minutes later Koeman, who should not have been on the pitch, curled a free kick into the top corner of the England net to give his side a vital lead.

Moments after the deadlock had been broken in England's favour, Taylor, who had been followed by a film company for two years for a documentary entitled 'The Impossible Job' was caught saying to the linesman: "You see, at the end of the day, I get the sack. Will you say to the fella, 'the referee has got me the sack'? Thank him ever so much for that, won't you?"

Paul Merson struck the woodwork as England searched for a route back into the contest, but their chances were ended soon after by Dennis Bergkamp, who fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area.

The Netherlands still had to beat Poland in Poznan to qualify at England's expense along with Norway and they duly obliged with a 3-1 victory.

As for Taylor, he handed in his resignation shortly after the final qualifier against San Marino - a game which England won 7-1, with Ian Wright scoring four times.

England manager Roy Hodgson looks on at the start of the international friendly football match between England and Scotland on August 14, 2013
Read Next:
Preview: England vs. Moldova
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole

1Manchester CityMan City54101621413
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd54101621413
4Newcastle UnitedNewcastle53026429
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs52217348
6Huddersfield TownHuddersfield52215328
10West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom52214408
13Stoke CityStoke512256-15
14Swansea CitySwansea512225-35
15Leicester CityLeicester511379-24
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton511347-34
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham5113410-64
20Crystal Palace500508-80