Netherlands progressed to the next round as they beat Italy 2-0 in Valenciennes. Goals from Vivianne Miedema and Stefanie Van der Gragt sees the Orange Lionesses first ever World Cup semi-final.
The first half was very, very uneventful as the searing 34 degree heat in the north of France took it’s toll. The weather was so warm that the players were forced to take cooling breaks during the game.
The second half was a different story as the Netherlands took the initiative early on. Neither team really managed to gain much of an advantage in the first half but in the second, Netherlands were clearly in control. Shanice Van de Sanden looked dangerous down the right wing while Sherida Spitse’s deliveries into the box were causing issues.
That route seemed to be the one that would do the trick for Holland as in the 70th minute, Spitse delivered a wicked ball into the box from a deep free-kick. It found the head of Vivianne Miedema who just helped the ball on it’s way, past the keeper and into the back of the net. That was the third goal of the tournament for the Arsenal forward.
After the goal, the pattern of the game didn’t much change as Holland continued to probe. Following the final cooling break of the game, Netherlands won another free-kick, this time on the right side of the area. Spitse once again whipped in a delightful cross which was met by centre-back Stefanie Van der Gragt who slammed her header into the back of the net. 2-0 and game over.
Holland progress to the semi-final for the first time in the nations history where they will play the winner of today’s other game between Sweden and Germany. You can catch that on BBC at 5:30pm.