Euro 2017: Netherlands 2-0 Sweden: Home nation reign victorious over lacklustre Sweden

A fabulous performance from the Dutch earned them a well-deserved win over the Scandinavian team, which takes them through to the semi-finals.

Euro 2017: Netherlands 2-0 Sweden: Home nation reign victorious over lacklustre Sweden
Netherlands
2 0
Sweden
Netherlands: Sari van Veenendaal, Desiree van Lunteren, Stephanie van der Gragt (Mandy Van den Berg), Kika van Es, Anouk Dekker, Shanice van de Sanden, Sherida Spitse, Vivianne Miedema, DAnielle van de Donk, Lieke Martens (Lineth Beerensteyn), Jackie Groenen
Sweden: Hedvig Lindahl, Jonna Andersson, Linda Sembrant, Nilla Fischer, Lisa Dahlkvist, Lotta Schelin, Kosovare Asllani, Stina Blackstenius, Jessica Samuelsson, Caroline Seger, Fridolina Rolfö
SCORE: 1-0, min. 33, Martens. 2-0, min. 64, Miedema.
INCIDENTS: Quarter-final match between host nation the Netherlands and Sweden.

Doetinchem hosted a fully packed Stadion De Vijverberg as Sweden took on the Netherlands in the first quarter-final match of the European Championships.

It was the Dutch that came away with the victory following two great goals and a brilliant performance. They are the first team through to the semi-finals.

Exciting start

A lively opening 10 minutes of the game revealed the attacking and direct style of play that both Sweden and Netherlands had on the agenda. Both sides had good spells of possession with some half chances which went mostly in the hosts favour.

The Netherlands were granted with a free-kick in a promising position on the 15th minute mark, but captain Sherida Spitse sent the ball over the crossbar.

Just two minutes later a golden opportunity fell for Vivienne Miedema after Hedvig Linahl failed to clear the ball from a corner. The forward without a goal in this tournament - prior to this match - couldn't make proper contact and the ball was subsequently blocked. 

As the first half continued, the Netherlands looked comfortable and the more threatening out of the two sides. Unsurprisingly, Lieke Martens, Jackie Groenen and Shanice van de Sanden all looked extremely dangerous as Sweden struggled to contain them going forward.

Lieke Martens dribbles past Lotta Schelin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweden managed to have a couple of opportunities thanks to counter attacks, but Fridolina Rolfö and Nilla Fischer couldn't put away their chances.

On the 33rd minute the deadlock was broken. Following some good play by the home nation, Miedema was fouled and a free-kick was given - which on second look, was inside the box, but justice was served. Tournament stand-out Martens sent a low drive into the bottom right corner of the net to give the Netherlands a thoroughly deserved 1-0 lead.

As the fans erupted with joy, the Netherlands grew even stronger as the first half continued. The hustle and bustle of Van de Sanden and the midfield of the Dutch was too much for Sweden's backline who struggled to keep up with the pace of the game.

The Swedes tried to fight back but with no success. Stina Blackstenius was one of the better players for the team in blue - a good chance broke in the 41st minute where she had the ball by the byline, but her cross sailed across the face of goal and failed to reach anybody. Another chance with only a minute left also broke for the tall forward, but the Dutch defence matched the skill of Blackstenius.

The first 45 minutes concluded with a 1-0 advantage to the Netherlands. It was a dream half for the Netherlands, with many individuals thriving off the experience. The scoreline was well-deserved for the nation who were the stronger side all-round.

Sweden's 4-woman midfield did well at times to prevent the Dutch from progressing up the field, but on too many occasions were caught out by combination play that allowed the hosts to be dangerous, with the formation itself not quite clicking.

 In attack they looked promising, but Blackstenius was left to do the work alone, with more support needed to really challenge Sari van Veendendaal. Overall the Swedes lacked firepower, and there was a desperate need in a step-up in class if they wanted to win this game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chances for both sides

In a very open start to the second half, both nations had many chances to get on the score sheet. Rolfö had the perfect opportunity to bring it back to level pegging early on in the half, but she took her strong left-footed shot wide of the post.

Another chance went begging for the Scandinavian side as frustration grew within the players, with the Netherlands restricting them no more than half chances.

Dutch demolish Swedes

It took only 20 minutes into the second half for the lead to be doubled. A beautiful pass from deep allowed Van de Sanden to use her blistering pace to get beyond the Sweden back line. With her unselfish mentality, she slotted the ball into the ever-present Miedema to increase the scoreline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second goal demolished Sweden's confidence, with mistakes occurring all over the pitch. It was on the 75th minute mark where Pia Sundhage decided to change tactics - a rare blip in the manager's tactical ideas, and although something had to change, it was too little too late.

The remaining 10 minutes were manic, with both teams having multiple chances on goal.

Substitute Lineth Beerensteyn almost sweetened the victory after she got in behind the defence of Sweden, but thanks to good defending, embarrassment was saved for Sundhage's side.

Blackstenius once again had a perfect opportunity to pull a goal back just minutes before the game ended, but panic in front of goal led to the chance being nothing than another shot at goal.

Beerensteyn was making an instant impact and had another opportunity to make it three goals to nil. Her shot from an angle inside the box wasn't accurate enough to make it on target.

In a fantastic, open and enjoyable match, the Netherlands showed their class and deserved the victory. Sweden never got into gear, and a tactical error was costly to their advancement in the tournament. With some amazing individual performances, and stunning teamwork play, the Netherlands could be the team to beat in this competition.

 

 

 

Women's Football