England rout of Scotland not enough for Great Britain Olympic women’s soccer hopes

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Great Britain was eliminated from Olympic women’s soccer qualifying despite England routing Scotland 6-0 in a bizarre, dramatic scenario.

Going into the final group-stage day of European qualifying, England and the Netherlands were tied on points with only one nation advancing from the group. The Netherlands held a three-goal advantage in goal differential, the tiebreaker.

England needed to beat Scotland to keep its hopes alive, and if the Netherlands beat Belgium, needed to make up the goal differential, too.

Though Great Britain’s delegation at the Olympics is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and some Northern Ireland athletes, it does not have a national year-round soccer team. Therefore, England was designated as the team to attempt to qualify Great Britain for the Olympics in European competition.

Great Britain’s women’s soccer team was eliminated in the Olympic quarterfinals in 2012 and in 2021. In Tokyo, the roster included two Scottish players.

England-Scotland and Netherlands-Belgium were held simultaneously on Tuesday.

At the 90-minute mark, England led Scotland 5-0 and the Netherlands led Belgium 2-0. If those scores held, England would have advanced on a second tiebreaker, goals scored.

But in added time, the Netherlands scored twice, while England scored once. So the Dutch advanced by one goal in the differential tiebreaker.

Great Britain became the second high-profile European nation to be eliminated from Olympic qualifying over the past week, joining Tokyo silver medalist Sweden. England was runner-up at this past summer’s World Cup to Spain, which did advance in European qualifying.

Two European teams qualify for the Paris Games to join the automatically qualified host nation France. It’s now down to the Netherlands, Spain and Germany.

The U.S., Canada, Brazil and Colombia previously qualified for the 12-team Olympic tournament.

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