The U-20 women's tournament was more evenly matched against the winner of the USA

The U-20 women’s tournament was more evenly matched against the winner of the USA

Zera Hulswit gave no ground to her American opponent. – Photo: Chut Ladies Cup

The Dutch under-20 women’s national team drew 2-2 against the United States in their last match of the Sud Ladies Cup. A great result against a better country that could crown itself the winner of the tournament by a single point. “We’re ready to go to Costa Rica.”

The women’s under-20s have settled in Aubagne in southern France for the prestigious Sud Ladies Cup. It’s really hot, especially during the afternoon game, but that’s great because it allows the players to get used to the conditions in Costa Rica, where they’ll be traveling to the World Cup in a month’s time.

– Women’s under-20s sometimes played tournament winners USA.

Very nice pot

Matches against strong World Cup participants serve as preparation for the World Cup and then it is good to see the team move upwards. After earlier narrow defeats against Mexico and France, the Netherlands played their third and final game against tournament winners and the first nation to win their first two games, the United States.

“We put a good pot on the mat today,” coach Roos Quackenbos said. “We saved the best for last. We struggled in the first ten minutes. They also scored in that. A bit of a clumsy goal after a corner that wasn’t cleared properly.”

– Marit Auée blocks her opponent with a shot.

Close to the wall

But after the Orange survive a storm of physically stronger American players, the Quackenboss team thrives in the game. “We really are lord and master,” the coach says in a tone that surprises her and the team that they’ve already reached this point. “America didn’t know how to press us. We played them from pillar to post. We always found a free player. Sometimes between the lines, sometimes deep. But also in transition.”

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The Netherlands are yet to score in this match, but goals are inevitable. Quackenbos particularly prides himself on creating goals from open play. “First we come down the right. Eventually we find space on the left to make a shot, then Danik Noordman taps in the rebound: 1-1.” It was twelve minutes later. After twenty, Liz Rijsbergen was released on the left. She makes a move and crosses tightly, after which Shiva Henry allows the net to swell at the second post, thoughtfully drawn: 1-2.

Penalty kicks

With that well-deserved lead, the players headed to the dressing room for half-time. The forces came out a bit in the second half, but the Netherlands certainly weren’t down. But America has a unique class at home, of course. Jaidin Shaw freed himself from a throw-in and leveled behind goalkeeper Alkemade in the 65th minute. “We still had some good chances to win after that,” says Quackenbos. “Ella (Bedemores) went over the post after a good dribble. And Marit (Auée) had a clear header but the ball ended up in the roof of the goal.”

So it stayed 2-2, and that point was enough for the USA to win the Sud Ladies Cup. But in the event of a draw, penalty kicks are also taken in this match for an extra bonus point. In the context of preparation for the finals, it is definitely a welcome practice for the players as you still feel the competitive pressure. Both teams were clear in the first run of three penalties. In the end, the USA took it back and forth, 5-4 in the long end.

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– Ella Pedemores had a great chance to score the winning goal in the closing stages.

Good feeling

Quackenboss looks back on the match and the entire tournament with a good feeling. “We came here to work as a team and build fitness. When you see them on the mat in the last game against a great country. It gives a really good feeling. With everyone. We’re ready to go.” Go to Costa Rica.”

The Under-20 women’s selection will meet again in two to three days for practice training and a friendly against Germany. The Netherlands travel to Costa Rica on August 1. The first match of the World Cup against Japan is scheduled to take place on August 11.


Go to United States U20 vs Netherlands U20 match fixtures and stats

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