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Southgate on ‘very painful’ England defeat

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The Netherlands took advantage of two sloppy defensive mistakes by England in extra time to earn a 3-1 win in the semi-finals of the Nations League on Thursday, extending England’s run of more than five decades without a trophy.

An own goal by Kyle Walker gave the Dutch the lead after John Stones gave the ball away in the first half of extra time, and Ross Barkley then misplayed a back pass to gift the Netherlands a third goal in the 114th minute.

Speaking after the game, the England manager Gareth Southgate had this to say on his team’s performance:

“Incredibly proud that the players have given absolutely everything. It’s very painful for them. It’s very painful for everybody.”

“But it was a night where we have learned so much. And some individuals really stood out. People like Declan Rice hadn’t been in that sort of environment before. Ross Barkley I thought he was really outstanding. Raheem (Sterling) … so It was tough to take in the end because you get into a semi-final, another semi-final, it should be positive but of course everybody leaves even more deflated.”

“I can understand that, but I got to look at the big picture, what the players have given me. They way they tried incredibly for the country.”

The Dutch will play the final of UEFA’s newest competition against hosts Portugal in Porto on Sunday, when they will try to lift their first trophy since the 1988 European Championship.

England, who were seeking their first title since the 1966 World Cup, will play Switzerland in the third-place game in Guimaraes, also on Sunday.

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