The Netherlands achieved their first major tournament victory, and became the first side to do it in front of their home fans since Germany in 2001.

They were given a stern test by Denmark, who at one point were ahead in a pulsating final that saw the Dutch eventually come out on top 4-2.

Here are Five Talking points from the final.

Shanice van de Sanden vs Cecilie Sandvej

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Shanice van de Sanden has been a menace for defenders during the whole tournament, but poor Cecilie Sandvej had the unenviable task of marking the Liverpool winger in Enschede – and she struggled.

Right from the off, Van de Sanden knew she had the beating of the Danis left-back, and time after time, simply pushed the ball in front of her, and started the after burners.

Sandvej was given a torrid time and was not given the support required to nullify the threat of the Holland right-winger, which allowed the dutch to really target that area of the field, and try to create chances for the likes of Vivianne Miedema.

Pernille Harder

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Sadly, in any final, there has to be a team that suffers the devastation of a defeat. In addition, there are players who light up a tournament and play their part in a final, and that role went to Pernille Harder.

Especially in the first half, the Danish captain showed why she has been given the responsibility of leading the side, as she dropped deep into areas that would allow her team to better link the midfield with forward Nadia Nadim.

Harder was all owe the place and was awarded with her performance with a goal that meant the teams went in level at half-time. It was a superb opening 45, and Harder was one of the players of the half.

A notable shoutout to her strike partner Nadia Nadim, whose story is well documented. To score in a major final, with the journey she has taken to get there, is special and will give long in her memory – despite being on the losing side. For those that don’t know Nadim’s story, read Glenn Moore’s piece here.

Netherlands free-kick

With the game nicely poised at two apiece, the Netherlands won a free-kick on the edge of the Denmark box, with Sherida Spitse stood over it.

We had seen the Dutch score from a set-piece in a similar position against Sweden in their quarterfinal win, which saw Like Martens stroke a low shot into the bottom corner through a gap between the wall and keeper Hedvig Lindahl.

With that in mind, you’d have expected the Danes to setup in a way that a similar set-piece would not be possible. Think again!

Keeper Stina Lykke Petersen set up her wall to defend one side of the Danish goal, but for some reason, decided to position herself right behind it, leaving her left hand side completely exposed, and with an easy avenue for Spitse to fire down.

The goal was preventable, but Lykke Petersen could not see the ball come to her left, because she was blinded by her wall. A couple of steps to the left, and it would have perhaps made for a simple save. The goal shifted the momentum back to the Dutch, and was a key moment of the game.

Vivianne Miedema came to party

When we spoke to Vivianne Miedema ahead of the EUROs, she was honest in her assessment of her last major tournament, the World Cup in Canada two years ago.

She confessed to not really enjoying it because of the pressure that was on her shoulders as an 18-year-old coming off of her first professional season. This time round, it could not have been any more different.

After going through the group stages without a goal, you could forgive the 21-year-old forward for perhaps feeling the pressure once again. But when it really mattered, she showed up.

Goals in the quarterfinal and semi-final was followed up by a double against the Danes, both very different, both showing her class.

The first, an instinctive finish after a cross into the box from Van de Sanden, was followed up late on in the game with a superb finish when one on one with Cecilie Sandvej. She squared Sandvej up, shifted the ball to her right, and smashed the ball past Lykke Petersen in the Danish goal. One more would have seen her equal Jodie Taylor’s haul of five goals, but the young forward finished with four goals, and a winners medal around her neck.

 

The Dutch fans

There are not enough words or superlatives  to describe the Dutch fans in Enschede. Over 28,000 packed into the home of FC Twente, and the noise they made was quite incredible.

But it wasn’t just during the game that the Dutch could be seen and heard, but it was before and after the game too.

The fan walk that started in Enschede city centre that made its way to the stadium (around 5kms away), saw a sea of orange make its way to the game, which stretched back at least a few kilometres.

The atmosphere was incredible and the support for the team, from some who have probably never seen a women’s game before, was encouraging to witness.

An honourable mention for the Danish fans as well, who while in smaller numbers, were also visible around Enschede, and played their part in making it a carnival atmosphere.

This EUROs will go down as the most competitive we have ever seen, and probably one of the most memorable. The fans can give themselves a pat on the back for playing a huge part in that.