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

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.

Share this article now:
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

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!
1Manchester CityMan City27233179205972
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd27175551193256
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs27157552242852
8Leicester CityLeicester2798103940-135
12West Ham UnitedWest Ham2779113446-1230
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2777132536-1128
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton27610112236-1428
15Crystal Palace2769122542-1727
16Swansea CitySwansea2776142037-1727
17Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2776142347-2427
19Stoke CityStoke2767142753-2625
20West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom27311132140-1920
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in with Facebook to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account