A draw would have been suffice in this final Group A game for England to make it into the final 8 in this tournament. It was good to see that the England team didn't think this way, and went all out for a win to finish top of the group. It was a truly memorable night and England thoroughly deserved to win.
Only seven minutes of this game had passed when England gave a glimpse of what was to come, when they tried to take the lead. Anderton played the ball to Shearer who had raced forward to meet the ball, and powered it towards the net. Unfortunately the early lead wasn't to be as Witschge cleared away.
England were getting to grips with this game early on and were preventing Holland from playing their usual game. There was a scare though in the 20th minute when Cruyff flew past Anderton, but Pearce was able to prevent further danger when
the ball deflected from him for a corner. The corner didn't create anything for Holland but it did for England. On the break from this play England charged forward through Sheringham and McManaman. The Liverpool winger found Ince who went past Blind. The Holland defender then turned after Ince and tripped him. The only action which could possibly have been taken was a penalty, which the referee awarded. Shearer coolly converted the spot-kick to break the deadlock.
Holland tried relentlessly to pull back the deficite, and almost did equalise when moments before the end of the first half Reiziger broke through the English defence and crossed the ball to the far post, where Bergkamp rose to meet the ball but headed it wide.
England began the second period as they had started the first. Only six minutes had elapsed in the second half when from a corner, Sheringham headed the ball into the top of the net. There was jubilation around Wembley as England's lead increased to two.
Playing in control England didn't sit back and defend but carried on trying to better their tally, and did so in the 57th minute. McManaman teamed up with Gascoigne for the Rangers star to find Sheringham, needing only to tap the ball to Shearer, who made no doubt of making the score 3-0. That was Shearer's fourth goal in 3 games.
The scoreline was remarkable and still England kept going for more. The fourth came when a driving shot from Anderton flummoxed van der Sar, who couldn't keep hold of the ball and Sheringham seized the opportunity of Holland's mistake to give England a four goal margin over the Dutch. England were in defiant mood.
Unfortunately England conceed a goal in the dying minutes when Kluivert was brought on to score, and did just that.
This didn't dampen England's enthusiasm as they went forward again testing the opposition's defence. Fowler, having replaced Sheringham, doing the honours this time with his head, but it was not to be.
There was no doubt about it when the final whisle blew, England had played wonderfully and had achieved a superb result, taking them to the top of their group and into the Quarter Finals against Spain.
van der Sar, Reiziger, Blind, Seedorf, de Boer (Kluivert 72 min), Bergkamp,
Hoekstra (Cocu 72), Winter, Witschge (de Kock 45 min), Bogarde, Cruyff.
Subs Not Used: Stam, Taument, Numan, de Goey, Mulder, Hesp, Veldman.
Seaman, G Neville, Pearce, Ince (Platt 68 mins), Adams, Southgate, Gascoigne, Shearer (Barmby 76 mins), Sheringham (Fowler 76 mins), Anderton, McManaman.
Subs Not Used: Flowers, Campbell, L Ferdinand, P Neville, Stone, Walker.
Holland Scorer: Kluivert 78 min
England Scorers: Shearer (23 mins - pen & 57 mins), Sheringham (51 & 62 mins)
Holland cautions: Winter, Blind, Bergkamp
England cautions: Sheringham, Ince, Southgate
Referee: Gerd Grabher (Austria)