England handily beat its Great British rival Scotland on Tuesday night, 6-0. But the comfortable victory was not enough for the Lionesses to qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. 

England was unable to unseat The Netherlands from the top seat in its Nations League group. The two squads entered their Tuesday matches with the same number of points, but The Netherlands had a superior goal differential. 

The nail in England’s coffin was a late goal scored by Damaris Egurrola in the 91st minute of the Oranje’s match with Belgium on Dec. 5 — the single goal that the Netherlands needed to remove England from contention. 

Belgium didn’t register a single goal on the Oranje, but England’s six goals over Scotland weren’t enough to make up the difference to qualify for the Paris games. 

“I’m very disappointed,” England manager Sarina Wiegman said to ESPN. “I felt we delivered tonight.”

Despite the impressive performance, the Lionesses couldn’t make up for their previous losses to Belgium and Spain. That, combined with an inferior goal differential, will keep this summer’s World Cup runner ups out of next summer’s Olympics. 

“If you don’t get through on goal difference, it’s not enough,” Wiegman said. “I still think what we’ve done, the Euros, getting to the final in the World Cup, having hardly [any] rest, going into the first Nations League campaign and, yes, we had moments we struggled but we had moments where we did really well, but that’s football.”

England needed a win and plenty of goals in order to stave off elimination from the 2024 Paris Olympics. They got both in their 6-0 win over Scotland in the UEFA Nations League group stage finale on Tuesday, but it wasn’t enough to advance to the semifinals and a shot at the Olympics.

England needed to both win their game against Scotland and make up their three-goal differential with the Netherlands to finish atop their Nations League group. For 95 minutes on Tuesday, they were on the verge of pulling it off, until the Netherlands’ Damaris Egurrola scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time against Belgium to lift the Dutch to a 4-0 win and maintain a one-goal lead in the tiebreaker scenario.

As a result, the Netherlands advance out of Group A1 and have a shot at Olympic qualification (the top two teams in the Nations League qualify for the Olympics). Meanwhile, England, the 2023 World Cup runners-up, will not compete in Paris next summer as part of Team Great Britain.

A dramatic, stoppage-time win over the Netherlands on Friday kept the team’s Olympic hopes alive, but they needed another win — and some help — to overcome a disappointing start to the qualification tournament.

England’s stars shined early against Scotland, with Alex Greenwood, Lauren James (two goals) and Beth Mead (one) scoring before the half to give the Lionesses a 4-0 lead. Fran Kirby tacked on one more in the second half and Lucy Bronze added insurance in stoppage time, appearing to solidify England’s group victory. The Netherlands’ Egurrola then broke through for two stoppage-time goals to dash England’s hopes of advancing in stunning fashion.

England, as the highest-ranked home nation, would have represented Team Great Britain at the Paris Olympics on behalf of Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Scotland didn’t want to make it easy on England — even if their own Olympics qualification as part of Team GB hung in the balance — due to a decades-old rivalry between the teams.

“Truthfully, I think it’s extremely disrespectful,” Rachel Corsie said ahead of the matchup when questions arose about the possibility of allowing England to win in order to qualify for the Olympics. “It’s a huge insult to us.

“To have played for my country as many years as I have, to know the girls sitting in there [the dressing room], the ones who want to be here but are injured and cannot be here, it’s absolutely outrageous to question anyone’s integrity.”

At the last Olympics in 2021 in Tokyo, both England (as Great Britain) and the Netherlands advanced to the quarterfinals, where they lost to Australia and the United States, respectively.

England’s Olympic qualification has been put in jeopardy following Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to Belgium.

The defeat puts the Lionesses third in their Women’s Nations League table with two matches remaining. They sit one point back of Belgium, with Belgium holding the advantage on goal differential. Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that it was England’s third loss in five games.

“First of all we have to beat the Netherlands by more than one goal at Wembley [in December] so we know we have work to do,” Sarina Wiegman told ITV. “We have put ourselves in a hard position.”

The 2023 World Cup runners-up face the Netherlands at 2:45 p.m. ET on Dec. 1. The Lionessess lost to the Oranje in their most recent match, a 2-1 defeat in September. And while injuries to key players like Leah Williamson and Beth Mead have plagued the team, there have been other worrying signs.

The Lionesses have allowed six goals in four Women’s Nations League matches. In just seven games, they have just one clean sheet. They’re also not converting their chances. They held possession 73% of the match and had 18 shots – but just five were on target. Belgium, meanwhile scored from three of five total attempts.

“This was a game [where] I think we should have been tighter on the ball,” Wiegman said. “The tempo wasn’t great but we did create lots of chances and we dominated the game totally. We lost the ball and we knew they were dangerous on the counter-attack. It was us that made it hard for ourselves. It’s something we have to get out of our game. We have to do better in the final third.

“We were sloppy on the ball and they were ready for that. They play their long ball and they are gone [on the counter-attack].”

Even still, England players are confident that they can keep their Olympic hopes alive.

“We’ve still got a good chance, we play our next game against the Netherlands at Wembley – a stadium where we like to step up and against a team that we played quite recently,” Lucy Bronze said. “We’ll put this game to bed and look forward to playing the Netherlands and Scotland. They are two really tough games. We’ve left ourselves with a little bit more to do – but it’s not impossible.”