Qualification for the Tournament
There were 47 UEFA nations that entered the competition, and to secure a place in the competition proper they had to play in three qualification rounds. The hosts, the Netherlands, received an automatic berth so they did not have to play in the qualification rounds. The preliminary round saw the eight lowest ranking teams drawn into two groups of four, where teams had to play in a single leg robin round against the other teams in the group. The two winners of each group, Moldova and Georgia, advanced to the qualifying group stage. This round saw the two teams join the 38 top teams in the rankings, and the 40 teams were split into eight groups of five teams. Teams in each group played in a double leg robin round against the other teams in the group, playing them both home and away. The eight winners of the groups and six best runners up secured a place in the competition proper. The two remaining runners up, Portugal and Romania, played a home and away two legged match to determine which team joined the remaining 14, plus the host nation, the Netherlands.
The teams that qualified for the competition proper were:
The Netherlands, Iceland, Spain, France, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, England, Norway, Scotland, Denmark, Italy, Belgium, Austria, Russia, and Portugal.
The 16 teams that qualified for the UEFA Women's Euros were then split into four groups of four, with each team playing in a single leg robin round against the other teams in their group.
The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and Norway were drawn together in group A. The Netherlands played the first game of the tournament in the Stadion Galgenwaard in Utrecht to a massive crowd of over 21,000 people. They did not disappoint their fans as Van de Sanden scored in the 66th minute to secure the hosts a win. Denmark played Belgium and also won 1-0. In the next round of the group stage, the Netherlands won again, beating Denmark 1-0 and going to the top of the group, whilst Belgium beat Norway 0-2 to put themselves in second place. In the final round of the group stage, the Netherlands beat Belgium in a tight game that ended 2-1 and Denmark beat Norway 0-1, pipping the Belgians to a second place finish in the group.
Germany, Italy, Russia and Sweden all were drawn together in group B. Russia beat Italy 1-2 in the first round, whilst Sweden held the defending champions Germany to a goalless draw. In the second round of matches, Sweden beat Russian 2-0 to go to the top of the group, whilst Germany beat Italy 2-1, to go second place. Germany faced Russia in the final round and beat them 0-2, and Sweden were beaten by Italy in a back and forth game that ended 2-3 to the Italians, though Sweden still managed to retain the runners up place in the group.
Austria, France, Iceland and Switzerland all played in group C. The matches in the group began with Austria facing Switzerland and France facing Iceland. Both France and Austria won their matches, to go jointly to the top of the group table. In the following group round, Switzerland faced Iceland, beating them 2-1 after turning around the lead that Iceland took in the 33rd minute. At the top of the group table, joint leaders France and Austria drew, so they both remained tied at the top. In the final round of the group, Switzerland faced France and managed to hold them to a draw. Austria faced Iceland and produced an amazing performance, winning the game 3-0.
Group D comprised England, Portugal, Scotland and Spain. In the first round, both pairs of neighbouring countries faced their old rivals; Spain faced Portugal and England faced Scotland. Spain beat Portugal 2-0 and went to the top of the group, but hours later when the next match was played, England won by 6-0 against Scotland with a hat trick from English footballer Jodie Lee Taylor, and England took first place in the group table. In the following round, Scotland faced Portugal in a tense match where Portugal managed to beat the Scots 2-1. At the top of the group table, England played against Spain and won 2-0, to extend their lead at the top and increase their goal tally in the competition. In the final round, England beat Portugal 2-1, to finish the group stage with only wins, and Scotland beat Spain. England won the group with 9 points, and all other teams had 3 points each. Spain had a better goal difference and managed to make second place in the group, so that they could advance to the following stage in the tournament.
For the quarter finals, the teams were paired based on which group they were in and which position they finished in. The winners of groups A and B faced the runners up of the other group, whilst the winners of groups C and D faced the runners up of the other group.
Netherlands played against Sweden in the first quarterfinals match, and the hosts beat Sweden 2-0. In the next game, Germany faced Denmark, and though they took the lead after only 3 minutes, the Danish team produced a huge upset when they equalized after half time and then scored a late goal to knock out the defending champions.
Austria played against Spain and the two teams finished regular time goalless. They did not manage to score in extra time either, and then the two teams played a penalty shootout. The third Spanish penalty taker missed and the Austrians scored all their goals to win the penalty shootout.
England played against France in the final quarter finals match, and they beat the French after Taylor scored the only goal of the game.
In the semi-finals, Denmark faced Austria, and once again the Austrian team found themselves playing in a game that finished goalless and went to a penalty shootout. This time though, all three starting Austrian players missed their penalties, and Denmark won.
The Netherlands played against England, and though the English were strong favourites to win, the host nation managed to put in a brilliant performance and beat the English 3-0.
The Women's Euro 2017 final was played in De Grolsch Veste stadium, the home stadium of club FC Twente. In front of a crowd of over 28,000, the two nations played in their first ever finals in the competition. Denmark opened the scoring with a converted penalty in the 6th minute, but the Dutch equalized only four minutes later. The Dutch went ahead when Martens scored in the 28th minute, but Danish striker Harder equalized for Denmark in the 33rd minute. In the second half, the Dutch took the advantage in the 51st minute and then a goal in the 89th minute secured victory for the host nation.
With their win, the Netherlands became the fourth nation ever to win the competition and the third country to win it as the host.