The Dutch beat Sweden in both the quarter-finals of 2017 and the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup. However, ever since their talented coach Sarina Wiegman arrived in England, there have been questions about whether Mark Parsons can entice. pull a slick game like she did in 2017 or not.
Sweden, meanwhile, had a point to prove not only against the Netherlands but against themselves as they finally wanted to claim their first major medal since their inaugural Euro win.
“For me, it’s a little bit of excess oil; I want a little revenge. I want a good result against the Netherlands for various reasons, and it adds a bit of fuel to the fire,” Sweden said. Magdalena Eriksson talk about the match before the tournament starts.
And while the game at Bramhall Lane ended in a Draw 1-1, Sweden came out brighter than both sides in the first half. They didn’t exactly knock the Dutch goal, but they were holding the ball well and pressing. A header inside the box in the 20th minute forced the Dutch to make an early change like Sari van Veenendaal only moments later that she could not continue.
The veteran goalkeeper was shortlisted for the “Best XI” of the 2017 tournament and won the title of Best Goalkeeper at the World Cup. She hasn’t had her best runs yet in this tournament but she remains the Netherlands’ most experienced pick with her replacement Daphne Van Domselaar having only one senior cap before Saturday.
The Dutch defense troubles increased when Aniek Nouwen was forced to rest at the end of the first half.
With Sweden already taking the lead, it looks like Peter Gerhardsson’s side are ready to move on. They still have star players Stina Blackstenius come on off the bench if they need to and rising youngster Hanna Bennison too. It’s also ironic that with the firepower they have, they’re defenders Jonna Andersson who received the target. Although not completely out of the way of Sweden, with five defenders contributing to 10 of their 40 goals in qualifying. They have managed to keep Vivianne Miedema – Holland’s all-time top scorer – quiet and while possession is split equally between the two, it feels like Sweden is doing more with the ball.
But it was the same old story for Sweden in the second half. Despite having the upper hand and entering the match as the better team, they gave up. Miedema dropped deeper and found great success on the left flank against Amanda Ilestadt. Purists often complain when Miedema drops that way, preferring her in the more traditional forward position but she loves the space it gives her and that’s clearly her area She had a workout that she could target because it was one of these races that set up the Netherlands. for their equalizer.
Despite bringing on Blackstenius and Bennison, Sweden looked more timid than in the first half. They made it difficult for the Swedish goal but Van Domselaar put in a stellar performance on her second cap, denying shots that had come with the confidence she had experienced.
Obviously after the game, the Netherlands knew they had turned the game around while Sweden was disappointed. Parsons admitted that the first 20 minutes and the loss of such key players took their toll.
“First half, I think it was difficult but we had some good moments playing possession football,” he said. “The gap is so big that Viv and the others have to run more.
“When you lose a captain and a centre-back, emotions can run high, but everyone please stay calm.”
Calm is perhaps the perfect word to describe the Dutch reaction to their early misfortune. Asked what he said to his players at halftime, Parsons joked: “I just asked Viv what she thought and went from there.”
But it was Miedema – who stripped Van Veenendaal of the captaincy when she came off the field – who stepped up in the second half and led her side to that precious point. Her performance made her the player of the match and it was easy to see how vocal and instrumental she was on the pitch.
“If you look at our first 15, 20 minutes, I think we can be extremely proud that we got a point,” she said after the game.
“[I’m] please. In the first half, we collided a lot on the pitch. At halftime there are a lot of emotions. You just come together. “
The palpable relief from Parsons and Miedema is a direct comparison to Gerhardsson’s apparent frustration.
“I’m out there somewhere,” he said when asked if he felt like his team had left a win on the pitch.
“The feeling is always disappointment when you don’t win a game.
“You want to win a game because that’s what you’re preparing for.”
The Dutch side’s resilience has been called into big question before the tournament, especially after they conceded the year before host England in a friendly just weeks after playing but the match against the team. This Swedish favorite is a lesson in resilience and mental strength.
They removed some of the demons that had haunted them and showed that they could make an appearance while the Swedes were still wondering if they would stand with the loser medal – or less – again. If they are to succeed, they will need to find more of the fire that coach Eriksson spoke of before the tournament and use it to launch themselves above all previous defeats.