KARL SUNDSTROM / AIPS* in ENSCHEDE: Pride, for a change, went before a triumph for Lieke Martens as the Netherlands swept the UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 with their final dismissal of Denmark in Enschede before a euphoric home crowd.

The Barcelona winger said: “I’m really proud of the team and what we have achieved. We had the toughest group of the tournament and won three games. We had two big victories [v Sweden and England] so it felt so good and we had confidence.

“In this final we had to come back from a goal for the first time. We really deserved to win this tournament.”

Martens was also awarded the Player of the Tournament trophy in front of her jubilant teammates after the game.

Denmark scored first, with a penalty by Nadia Nadim which silenced a majority of the 28,182 spectators at FC Twente Stadion. But Vivianne Miedema soon equalised on the way to home success.

Head coach Sarina Wiegman said: “I wasn’t worried about the result. But we didn’t do our task well enough. We talked about that in the halftime break. After that we got better.”

Vivianne Miedema, who scored twice, said: “I’m just happy I could help the team. We played six amazing games. We showed today, that even if we get behind we could change the game. We just need to enjoy this moment.”

Miedema was the tournament’s second best scorer with four goals, beaten only by England’s Jodie Taylor with five.

This trophy was the first major prize for the Netherlands women’s team. The last trophy any Dutch senior team won came in 1988 when the men’s team won their own Euro.

Wiegman added: “We wanted to show the public who we are and that we can play good football. We did such a good job on working together. I thought the development that we made was so amazing. I couldn’t believe that it was happening.”

For Denmark, the tournament ended in tears though head coach Nils Nielsen praised the Netherlands.

He said: “I will have to say that I enjoyed being a part of this final. Two teams tried their best to win. The Dutch team scored more goals than us. Their team were the best in the tournament so they became well-deserved champions.”

** AIPS is the international sports journalists’ association with 10,000 members worldwide. and is currently undertaking a Young Reporters course in the Netherlands in co-operation with UEFA, More information: www.AIPSmedia.com

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