Dutch beat Danes to win women’s Euro

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

A brace from Vi­vianne Miedema led hosts Nether­lands to a 4-2 win over Den­mark and their first women’s Euro ti­tle in En­schede yes­ter­day. Miedema pulled the hosts level at 1-1 on ten min­utes and added her sec­ond goal two min­utes from the end to round off the scor­ing, with Lieke Martens and skip­per Sherida Spitse also scor­ing for the cham­pi­ons.

Den­mark took the lead as Na­dia Nadim scored from the penalty spot on six min­utes after Kika van Es had brought down Sanne Troels­gaard in the box. Miedema then fired home a su­perb cross from right winger Shan­ice van de San­den who had out­sprinted Ce­cilie Sand­vej on the wing.

Martens turned with the ball just out­side the box in the 28th minute and her low left-footer beat div­ing Dan­ish keeper Stina Petersen at her left post. The valiant Danes equalised on 33 min­utes when skip­per Pernille Harder picked up a long pass on the right wing, took it inside the box and wrong-footed Dutch keeper Sari van Vee­nen­daal, scor­ing with a low left-foot shot to her left post.

Spitse then scored five min­utes after the break with a low shot from a free-kick and Miedema made it 4-2 after fool­ing a de­fender inside the box and beat­ing Petersen with a low shot in the 89th minute.

The Dutch are only the fourth team to lift the tro­phy after eight-time cham­pi­ons Ger­many, two-time winners Nor­way and Swe­den, who won the first edi­tion in 1984. Den­mark, like the Dutch play­ing in their first fi­nal, made two changes in their start­ing line-up as Sofie Junge Ped­er­sen re­placed mid­fielder Line Jensen, out with a torn knee lig­a­ment, while Sand­vej came in for left-back Line Rod­dik.

Pro­pelled by a sold-out Twente sta­dium in En­schede, the Dutch dom­i­nated the early min­utes of a very lively first half, but Den­mark’s first goal lev­elled the sit­u­a­tion on the pitch. Martens could have ex­tended her scor­ing record after 15 min­utes, when van de San­den’s low cross found her inside the box, but Petersen had lit­tle trou­ble clear­ing her weak shot.

Nadim had two good chances to add to her opener, but her one-on-one with Van Vee­nen­daal ended in the hands of the Dutch keeper and then she missed a cross. In the sec­ond half, Van Es sent a long-range shot wide, Petersen su­perbly stopped Miedema’s blast from long range and Jackie Groe­nen nar­rowly missed from long range.

At the other end, Ka­trine Veje’s at­tempt from inside the box missed the Dutch goal, just like a re­bound from a cor­ner by sub­sti­tute Fred­erikke Thogersen. Troels­gaard missed the top cor­ner by an inch five min­utes from the end as the Danes pushed for an equaliser.

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