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Women’s World Cup: Netherlands sail into quarter-finals, Sweden stun reigning champions

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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