It’s fair to say that fans at Leigh Sports Village were treated on Wednesday night as the reigning European Champions Netherlands won a five-goal thriller against Portugal in their Group C meeting at Euro 2022.
Former Arsenal midfielder Danielle van de Donk scored the pick of the bunch in what was the worthy match-winner as she unleashed an excellent effort from the edge of the box that soared into the top right corner. Damaris Egurrola opened the scoring with a looping header in the opening 10 minutes before Stefanie van der Gragt nodded home to double the Netherlands’ lead.
Things did get nervy for the Oranje when Carole Costa halved the deficit from the penalty spot after a lengthy VAR decision before Diana Silva levelled the score early in the second half. But those nerves were later quashed when Van de Donk’s rocketed effort sealed a much-needed victory for Mark Parsons' team. To have won the game without key players Vivianne Miedema and Jackie Groenen shows just how dangerous the reigning champions are.
Elsewhere, Sweden defeated Switzerland 2-1 at Bramall Lane. Barcelona forward Fridolina Rolfo opened the scoring for Sweden before former Chelsea star Ramona Bachman equalised just moments later with a brilliantly curled effort. The hero of the hour for Sweden was teenage substitute Hanna Bennison in the 79th minute to strengthen her team’s hopes of reaching the quarter-finals.
As we look ahead to day eight, we return to Group D. Italy take on Iceland at Manchester City Academy Stadium as they look to get off the mark in the tournament, whereas Iceland are looking to build on their draw with Belgium last time out. Belgium take on France at the New York Stadium and can book their place in the last eight with a victory.
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