Sarina Wiegman has defended Mary Earps after England’s goalkeeper said she would be haunted by her goalkeeping error despite a crucial 3-2 win. 

Stand-in skipper Earps was one of several England players at fault for the Netherlands’ second goal before the Lionesses fought back in a thrilling second-half comeback. 

Earps saw Lineth Beerensteyn’s shot slide along her arm as the Dutch forward netted a first-half brace before goals from Georgia Stanway, Lauren Hemp and Ella Toone rescued England. 

“I thought the girls were unbelievable to come back into the game,” Earps said. “I thought they were unbelievable, the subs that come on impacted the game.  

“I am just sorry that my performance has cost the team tonight. 

“That [second goal] will haunt me for a long time today, I am really gutted because it could have been a really special night.  

“The team were unbelievable, don’t get me wrong, the goals are unbelievable, the way that they played and moved it around showed great patience at times, real tenacity, real intensity to the play.  

“I am a competitor but when it is not good enough, it is not good enough and I can only apologise to my teammates and to the fans, I take that fully with my whole chest.” 

Beerensteyn opened the scoring in the 12th minute against the run of play, as the Netherlands broke away 24 seconds after wrongly being awarded a goal-kick. 

England then failed to clear the ball multiple times before Beerensteyn, who should have been flagged for offside, netted in the 35th minute. 

Earps was furious with herself for failing to stop the Netherland’s second goal and was in tears at full-time despite England’s victory. 

Lionesses boss Wiegman did not agree with Earps’ assessment of the game, however, as she emphasised the team’s responsibility for England’s topsy-turvy performance. 

She said: “I spoke to her very shortly and I don't want her to talk like that because you win as a team, you lose a team. 

“Everyone makes mistakes and when something in the back happens, then it is very quickly a goal.  

“And when something happens up front and you make a mistake then no one will see because then you either score or you don't score a goal. That is part of the game.  

“So, of course, she didn't let the team down. Everyone does her best and gives everything and I think you only let your team down when you don't put any effort in the game.  

“We never don't put effort in the game.” 

England now head to Glasgow to take on Scotland knowing they must win to stand any chance of progressing to the semi-finals. 

They either need the Netherlands to drop points against Belgium or to win by a large enough scoreline to overtake the Dutch who currently sit above them on goal difference. 

Qualifying for the semi-finals does not confirm Team GB’s place at the Olympics with England, as Team GB’s nominated nation, still needing to reach the final to be sure of a place at Paris 2024.