UEFA nations continue to dominate proceedings at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, as the Netherlands and Sweden maintained this trend on Sunday.
Despite coming into the tournament without all-time leading goalscorer Vivianne Miedema, Andries Jonker’s ladies have shone brightly in Australia and New Zealand.
After progressing into a third consecutive Women’s World Cup round of 16 as Group E winners, having won two out of three fixtures (D1), the Oranje eased past Banyana Banyana 2-0 at the Sydney Football Stadium.
New Manchester City ace Jill Roord continued an outstanding tournament with an early deadlock-breaker, heading home from a delightful set-piece delivery from Danielle van de Donk in the ninth minute.
Jonker’s side had ups and downs in the first half but carried a narrow one-goal advantage into half-time before Juventus forward Lineth Beerensteyn killed the game off midway through the second half.
South Africa had their chances but couldn’t find a way past Aston Villa goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar, who made seven saves to keep a third clean sheet in four 2023 Women’s World Cup matches.
The Netherlands’ bid to take home the trophy for the first time faces a daunting challenge in the quarter-finals as they go up against a rampant Spain.
Unlike the free-scoring Dutch team, Sweden went through a great deal of pain and suffering to become the first nation to eliminate the United States in the first knockout round of a Women’s World Cup.
Following a tepid 0-0 draw across 120 minutes, Peter Gerharsson’s side squeezed past the United States via a nerve-shredding penalty shoot-out, reaching the quarter-finals for the second tournament on the trot.
Vlatko Andonovski’s side headed into the tournament as back-to-back champions and arguably the leading contenders to extend their world dominance.
However, an outrageous 21 shots on goal, including 11 on target, and a significant possession percentage of 59% proved insufficient to fire them past a resilient Swedish side.
Fresh off pulling off the upset of the tournament, Sweden will take on Japan in the quarter-finals.
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