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Women’s World Cup: Netherlands Overpowered South Africa Into Quarter-finals



Women's World Cup: Netherlands Overpowered South Africa Into Quarter-finals

The Netherlands qualified for the quarter-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Sunday with a 2-0 victory over South Africa.

Jill Rohrd and Lynneth Berenstein scored in each half at the Sydney Football Stadium to secure the 2019 finalists a place in the last eight. But South Africa, one of the surprise teams in the tournament, gave the Netherlands a moment of suspense, forcing goalkeeper Daphne van Doumselaar to make a series of saves by Thembi Cgaatlana.

The Netherlands lost to Team USA in the World Cup final four years ago and are once again like contenders after finishing first against the Americans in Group E. South Africa exceeded expectations to qualify for the knockout stages for the first time after a dramatic 3-2 victory over Italy in their final match.

But goals from Rørd in the ninth minute and Berenstein in the 68th minute, after a mistake by goalkeeper Kaelin Swart, unexpectedly ended his streak. The Netherlands almost took the lead before Roord’s goal when a save by Esme Bruges sent Swart over the bar.

Roward hits from the corner. Sherida Spates’ cross was headed on goal by Lake Martins, and again Swart had to act. But from his save, the ball went over the crossbar and Roord headed home for his fourth goal of the tournament. Danielle van de Donk almost took the lead but Swart saved her from inside the penalty area, and Cgatlana van Domselaar tested as South Africa showed their threat in the first half.

South Africa’s Nuku Matlu waves to the fans after the match. South Africa’s Nuku Matlu waves to the fans after the match.
Cgatlana went close to the goal just before half-time, but was unable to get past Van Domselaar. South Africa finished the half stronger as Cgatlana consistently beat the Dutch defence.
Its reaction to the delay was even more impressive, as injuries to Germaine Sioposnoi and Pampanani Mbane faced injuries in the first half.

The Dutch regained control after the restart and the Dutch thought they had doubled their lead when Martens came back and converted in the 54th minute.

But their celebration was cut short when it was ruled out by the VAR for being offside. South Africa didn’t pose much of a threat as they battled for the ball and the Netherlands scored the second goal after Swart’s error.

Berenstein’s low shot should have been easily caught by Swart, but it left him losing control and crossing the line. Just as in the first half, the Netherlands’ goal was met with a violent reaction from the South African players and Linda Mutlhalo was denied when Van Domsselaar volleyed her light shot over the post.

The only negative for the Netherlands was a yellow card for Van de Donk, who will now miss the quarter-final against Spain.