The women’s soccer team faces China and meets world champion America in the quarter-finals

The women’s soccer team faces China and meets world champion America in the quarter-finals

Lieke Martens beats China 4-1. The Netherlands won 8-2.Professional photo shoots / Thomas Bakker

With another Korfball result, 8-2, the Dutch women’s football team qualified as group winners for the quarter-finals where world champions America awaited. Excellent performance as another superpower, Brazil, dropped to second place.

Taking into account also the strange number of goals: 21, although a large part of it is due to the dramatic form of the goalkeepers of Zambia (beaten 10-3), Brazil (3-3), and again the goalkeepers of China on Tuesday afternoon. . Ximing Peng made an embarrassing mistake, especially with the last two goals.

Top scorer Viviane Miedema scored eight goals in just 177 minutes, the Olympic record being six goals after an entire tournament. Sometimes the Dutch players did not even dare to cheer after the goal that was preceded by a clear error.

But now the playtime is over. As in the match against China, an empty Nissan Stadium in Yokohama will provide the somber backdrop to the battle with America, a repeat of the World Cup final two years ago. Then the Netherlands lost without a chance to Lyon 2-0.

Progress was needed, that was the conclusion at the time. Is there? Well, Holland shoots hard and sometimes scores excellent goals. Aces by Lieke Martens and Miedema also took the lead against Brazil. But the defensive organization in this tournament is shabby, as evidenced by the eight goals conceded by the team, which national team coach Wegman was able to build on in the World Cup. It should be noted that the competitors in the group played with the best players at the front and the weaker sisters at the back.

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Luck: The routine in gold-clad America seems to have deteriorated somewhat, and sometimes even seems worn out in humid Japan. It finished second in the group after losing 3-0 to Sweden and 0-0 to Australia.

The Netherlands played China without centre-back Van der Gragt because they could have been suspended for the quarter-finals if they had received a yellow card. Top scorer Miedema started on the bench due to groin complaints, but came on as a shadow striker after the hour and scored twice.

The performance of their replacements in the starting lineup was mixed. With Meryl van Dongen, who started the tournament as a full-back and now plays as a midfielder, an already wobbly final line could not have become more decisive. Lineth Beerenstein was the bright spot in the first half as the Dutch side played chaotic football the rest of the half, although they did score two defining goals.

Bernstein has been fighting for a starting position for years, but she is unlucky to have an opponent called Viviane Miedema, who scores as easily as she breathes. Bernstein, who plays for Bayern Munich, will feel the same way as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar at Euro 2012. The then Schalke striker also had to put up with a big player from Arsenal: Robin van Persie.

Miedema and Bernstein are fast and technically gifted. In the World Cup Final, Miedema played behind Bernstein, but it was not successful. This was also attempted in the final half-hour against China when Miedema came on for Van de Donk. It went well, although the pitch China set up at the back after the break wasn’t a real indicator.

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Other goals came from Shanice van de Sanden, Lieke Martens and Viktoria Belova, who also participated. The latter scored her second goal in the tournament. Not once in her previous twelve international matches. This also says a lot.

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