Jodie Taylor struck again as England defied decades of history to reach the Women’s Euro 2017 semi-finals with a 1-0 victory over France in Deventer.
The result ended a winless run over France which stretched back to 1974, when England defeated Les Bleues 2-0 in a friendly in Wimbledon, and they will face tournament hosts Holland on Thursday for a place in Sunday’s final in Enschede.
Taylor slid the ball past Sarah Bouhaddi for her fifth goal of the tournament in the 60th minute to put England through, with the suspension of Jill Scott for the next round being the only disappointment for manager Mark Sampson.
The result came hours after pre-tournament favourites Germany were knocked out by Denmark, suffering a shock 2-1 defeat that means they cannot land a seventh consecutive European title.
Sampson named the same starting line-up that began the first two group matches against Scotland and Spain as he looked to extend England’s 100 per cent record.
Fran Kirby was the only England player to not start in the most recent clash between the two sides – a 2-1 defeat in the SheBelieves Cup in March – while France captain Wendie Renard was missing due to suspension.
Taylor had the first sight at goal after five minutes when a Jordan Nobbs cross was only half-cleared by the France defence but the Arsenal forward could not keep her effort from ballooning over the crossbar.
Despite a bright start from Sampson’s side, France began to grow into the match with playmaker Camille Abily looking to exploit the spaces behind full-backs Lucy Bronze and Demi Stokes.
The Lyon midfielder created two chances in as many minutes, firstly when a slide-rule pass found Kadidiatou Diani behind the Lionesses defence and the recovering Jade Moore dispossessed the left winger as she was about to strike at goal. Then Marie-Laure Delie latched on to another through-ball from the 32-year-old but dragged her effort wide.
Millie Bright threatened Bouhaddi in the France goal after Nobbs picked out the Chelsea centre-back at the far post with a in-swinging free-kick but she could only glance her header wide.
Both sides struggled to make full use of the ball, and England suffered a blow when Jill Scott picked up the yellow card which rules her out of the last-four clash with Holland for a late challenge on Amandine Henry.
England progressed to the semi-finals (Getty)
France striker Delie warmed the hands of goalkeeper Karen Bardsley with a deflected effort from the…