The United States already has a rival for Sunday's final in Lyon (17:00, GOL): it will be the Netherlands, who beat Sweden 1-0 on Wednesday with a goal in overtime in a never-ending, thick and rather boring game. Jackie Groenen adjusted to the near post a right in the 99th minute. He fired with all the strength he had left after more than 90 minutes of play. The oranje selection is thus planted in the final, against all odds. The one of France 2019 – stream to which it has arrived through the repechage – is its second participation in a World-wide one; in Canada 2015 fell in eighths.
It is the current European champion, yes, and already eliminated Sweden in the quarterfinals of that tournament (2017). In the last four years it has stuck a spectacular growth. Nobody at the beginning of the tournament bet on Holland as a finalist. He has done so after getting rid of Sweden, Italy and Japan and after winning all the group matches. Not without criticism, at least in the Dutch press, for their football. Crazy in defense, with good punch, but nothing creative.
Sari van Veenendaal, Merel van Dongen, Desiree van Lunteren, Dominique Bloodworth, Stefanie van der Gragt, Daniëlle van de Donk, Jackie Groenen, Sherida Spitse, Lieke Martens (Jill Roord, 45), Vivianne Miedema and Lineth Beerensteyn (Shanice van of Sanden, min 71).
Hedvig Lindahl, Linda Sembrant, Magdalena Eriksson (Jonna Andersson, min 110), Nilla Fischer, Hanna Glas, Sofia Jakobsson, Lina Hurtig (Madeleine Janogy, min 78), Elin Rubensson (Julia Zigiotti Olme, min 78), Kosovare Asllani (, min 126), Caroline Seger and Stina Blackstenius (Mimmi Larsson, min 110).
1-0 min. 98: Jackie Groenen.
Daniëlle van de Donk (min 115) and
Sherida Spitse (min 84).
"Being champions of Europe made us more visible and here we are experiencing what it is to have the focus on our game," defended Sarina Wiegman, the Dutch coach, at the press conference prior to the semifinal. He recognized that they had felt the pressure and that they had not been able to play comfortable. Nor did they do this Wednesday against Sweden, who led the reins of the game. A meeting locked, with many faults and many stoppages and little lucidity in the two areas. The protagonists were the caretakers.
"With respect to the European Championship, the difference, obviously, is great. The fans expect us to be world champions, "agreed Miedema, the ambidextrous Arsenal attacker and leader of the attack of the Dutch team despite being only 22 years old. He is supported by the 61 goals scored in 80 matches with the oranje. Challenging the United States – three times champion of the world – seems mission impossible and more with one less day of rest and an extension in the legs. But Holland wants to try. You have nothing to lose.