Nether­lands, Den­mark in women’s Euro quar­ters

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

DEVENTER: Hosts Nether­lands beat neigh­bours Bel­gium 2-1 to ad­vance to the women’s Euro quar­ter-fi­nals along­side Den­mark, who edged 2013 run­ners-up Nor­way 1-0 in Group A on Mon­day. In Til­burg, Sherida Spitse con­verted a penal­ty­her sec­ond in two games — in the 27th minute to put the Nether­lands ahead af­ter Maud Coutereels had brought down Jackie Groe­nen in the box.

Tessa Wul­laert put Bel­gium level on 59 min­utes with a high chip that caught out goal­keeper Sari van Vee­nen­daal. But Lieke Martens helped the hosts keep their per­fect record of three wins from as many games with a shot that was de­flected by de­fender Heleen Jaques over keeper Justien Odeurs.

In Deventer, Den­mark’s Ka­trine Veje scored on five min­utes, blast­ing her shot past Nor­we­gian keeper In­grid Hjelm­seth af­ter be­ing set up by skip­per Pernille Harder. Nor­way wasted a spot-kick just be­fore half­time as Dan­ish keeper Stina Lykke Petersen kept out Caro­line Gra­ham Hansen’s shot fol­low­ing a foul on striker Ada Hegerberg.

Den­mark fin­ished sec­ond on six points, ahead of Bel­gium with three and Nor­way­who had ad­vanced to the knock­out stages ev­ery time since 1997 — with zero points. The Dutch were on the front foot for most of the match, with Martens fir­ing over on 11 min­utes.

Bel­gium, play­ing their first Euro­pean Championship, could have lev­elled ear­lier but Jan­ice Cay­man flicked the ball just over af­ter the break. In the clos­ing min­utes, Dav­ina Philt­jens curled a free-kick over the Dutch goal, Wul­laert had a left-footed strike tipped over by Van Vee­nen­daal and Jaques saw her header cleared off the goalline.

‘NOT ACHIEVED ANY­THING YET’

“We are very happy to have won the three matches, which is a re­sult to be proud of. I am en­joy­ing tonight, but we will fo­cus on Satur­day to­mor­row,” said Martens. “We still have not achieved any­thing yet, but we hope we can show some­thing good again in the quar­ter-fi­nal.”

“We started well, put up some pres­sure. Af­ter that Nether­lands came into the match with their qual­i­ties,” said Bel­gium coach Ives Serneels. “We just have to take the next steps to de­velop women’s foot­ball in our na­tion fur­ther on. But it was our first qual­i­fi­ca­tion for a fi­nal tour­na­ment and I am very proud on what we achieved.” Den­mark pushed for a goal from the be­gin­ning, with Harder and Stine Larsen miss­ing the tar­get.

Nor­way grad­u­ally took over, but Guro Reiten drove her two shots over. Den­mark were more dan­ger­ous, with Hjelm­seth stop­ping shots from Sanne Troels­gaard and Fred­erikke Thoegersen, while Na­dia Nadim fluffed a chance and was then was de­nied by Hjelm­seth af­ter the break. At the other end, Gra­ham Hansen fired over and then hit the post with a cross-cum-shot five min­utes from time, with In­grid Wold’s re­bound turned onto the bar by Petersen.

“This was a very tough match for us,” said Dan­ish coach Nils Nielsen. “The first half was ours and we cre­ated the chances we needed. In the sec­ond half we changed a lit­tle bit and Nor­way put a lot of pres­sure on us and maybe they should have scored but it just didn’t go in for them.”“We might have been a bit lucky but we were chas­ing the luck.” Nor­way coach Martin Sjo­gren said go­ing home with­out a goal scored was “pretty tough for us.”

“We cre­ated chances es­pe­cially in the sec­ond half but the ball wouldn’t go in.”“It’s very dis­ap­point­ing that we end up with three losses. It’s a tough ex­pe­ri­ence but you have to learn from all ex­pe­ri­ences.”

— AFP

DEVENTER: Nor­way’s goal­keeper In­grid Hjelm­seth (R) vies with Den­mark’s Na­dia Nadim (L) dur­ing the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 foot­ball tour­na­ment match be­tween Nor­way and Den­mark at Sta­dion De Ade­laarshorst in Deventer city on Mon­day.

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