Lieke Martens

Match report: Netherlands advance into the semi-finals

Host nation Netherlands advanced to the semi-finals of the Uefa Euro 2017 championship with a 2-0 win over Sweden on Saturday.

After what proved to be a slow start it was the Dutch who created the first opening as Sherida Spitse lashed a fierce right footed freekick just over the top of Hedvig Lindahl’s crossbar from twenty-five yards out.

New Arsenal signing Vivianne Miedema who is having a very good tournament thought she had put her side into the lead after her shot was well blocked by Nilla Fischer at the last attempt.

Sweden then started to play some fantastic football and they created their first opening on 19 minutes as Stina Blackstenius hit a powerful drive from the edge of the area before the ball was blocked by Kika van Es the ball deflecting wide.

Fischer then thought she had put Sweden into the lead after she latched onto a corner from Kosovare Asllani but she headed her effort the top of the bar when well placed to score.

Netherlands were looking the more threatening going forward and they were inches away from taking the lead as Lieke Martens dragged her effort wide after a defence splitting pass by Miedema.

In an exciting end to end game it was the turn of the Swedes to create the next chance as Blackstenius hit a low left footed drive across the face of goal after she was played in by Fischer.

However two minutes the hosts did take the lead as Martens fired a powerful right footed effort into the net from a freekick the new Barcelona signing showing once again why the Spanish giants signed her this summer.

It was the turn of Martens once again to try her luck on the stroke of the break as her rasping drive was well kept out by the flying Lindahl pushing her effort out of the danger zone.

It was Sweden who started the second half the brighter and they could have levelled on 47 minutes when Fridolina Rolfö lashed her shot wide after yet another superb pass by Asllani.
Caroline Seger was putting in a brilliant shift for the Scandinavian side and she played in Blackstenius minutes later but she could only fire her shot wide after she skipped past the Netherlands challenges.

Spitse then could have killed the tie a minute later as the Dutch hit their opponents on a quick counter attack but she curled her effort wide of the target.

The Dutch then started to pile forward to get that all important second and it was close to arriving when Miedema got on the end of a Martens cross but she flicked her header wide of the target when Lindahl was beaten all ends up.

However the second goal did arrive on 64 minutes when Miedema powered home after Shanice van de Sanden’s through ball had taken the Swedish defence out of the game.

Miedema then had the chance to add her second on 73 minutes as he latched on to the end of a Jackie Groenen cross but could only slide her effort wide of the target when she really should have scored.

With ten minutes remaining Sweden could have pulled another goal back as Blackstenius got on the end of a corner before she saw her header clawed away by Sari Van Veenendaal in the Netherlands goal.

As the game was nearing its close Van Veenendaal was forced into action twice in quick succession as she made a superb one handed save to deny a stunning Mimmi Larsson effort from just inside the area.

A minute later the Arsenal keeper was called into action once again as she kept a low effort from Blackstenius as she tried her luck from just outside the box.


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