Lauren James scored twice and Fran Kirby also struck as England defeated Scotland 6-0 at Hampden Park – but it didn't prove enough for the Lionesses to secure their place in the Nations League finals.
England went into their final Group A1 fixture needing to overcome Scotland and better the Netherlands' result against Belgium by three goals. Do that and a place in the finals – and a spot at the 2024 Olympics for Team GB – would await.
Sarina Wiegman's side, which also included Niamh Charles, was dominant in the opening period. Alex Greenwood scored the opener and James then showcased her quality with two goals in two minutes. Both were strikes from the edge of the penalty area.
Beth Mead then added a fourth before the interval and, shortly after the restart, Kirby struck a fifth. At that point, and despite the best efforts of Erin Cuthbert in the Scotland midfield, England had breathing space in their quest to reach the finals.
That diminished when Lineth Beerensteyn put the Netherlands two goals ahead against Belgium, but as both matches reached the 90th-minute mark, England were through.
However, when Damaris Egurrola scored a third against Belgium, England's fate was out of their hands. That was until, back at Hampden Park, Lucy Bronze scored in the 93rd minute. The game finished. England had done all they could.
Then came the wait – and there was to be heartbreak for the Lionesses. In the 95th minute in Tilburg, Egurrola scored a crucial fourth for the Netherlands to take them through to the finals. It could not have been a more dramatic end.
Elsewhere, Eve Perisset started as France defeated Portugal to guarantee their place in the Nations League finals. Germany have also qualified after they played out a goalless draw against Wales.
Sophie Ingle started in midfield for the Welsh side and went up against her Chelsea teammate Sjoeke Nusken. Ann-Katrin Berger was among the substitutes for Germany.
Spain complete the Nations League finalists and they overcame Sweden 5-3 this evening. Johanna Rytting Kaneryd started for the visitors to La Rosaleda and claimed an assist as Sweden opened up a 3-1 lead by half time.
Yet the world champions produced a fine second-half comeback to secure victory in Malaga. Goalkeeper Zecira Musovic was an unused substitute for Sweden.
Our Canadian trio of Kadeisha Buchanan, Ashley Lawrence and Jessie Fleming were in from the start as Canada edged past Australia in the second of two friendly fixtures. Quinn netted the decisive goal just before the break, which ensured that Christine Sinclair's farewell tour ended with a victory.