Netherlands secured a tense late 4-1 victory over Switzerland in Sheffield to advance to the Euro 2022 quarter-finals.
The Swiss had the better of the early stages of the first half, with Sandy Maendly forcing a good save from Daphne van Domselaar.
Netherlands then thought they had a penalty a few minutes later before it was overturned after a VAR review.
Straight after half-time the Dutch took the lead as Ana Crnogorcevic diverted a header into her own net. Switzerland responded immediately, with Ramona Bachmann creating the chance for Geraldine Reuteler to equalise.
The Swiss pushed for the goal they needed but were caught out in the last ten minutes as two goals from Romee Leuchter and a close range finish from Victoria Pelova settled the match.
With Sweden comprehensively beating Portugal to top the group, Netherlands will now face France in Rotherham on Saturday.
TALKING POINT – BACK-TO-BACK?
They didn’t fluke the last European Championship you know. All the Netherlands’ matches have been in the balance this tournament, but they’re coming out butter side up in terms of results and have now secured a place in the last eight.
In a difficult stick-or-twist situation tonight they held their nerve under pressure, before picking Switzerland off clinically in the final ten minutes. Some canny substitutions made the difference, and Dutch manager Mark Parsons has some serious thinking to do ahead of the next match given how the replacements outshone the starting eleven.
That game will be against France, in what looks like the pick of the quarterfinals so far. With a bit of courage in selecting in-form players from here on out, the retention of this title is still very much a live proposition.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – VICTORIA PELOVA (NETHERLANDS)
It tells you everything about this cameo that Pelova left a more indelible impression that anyone who did the full shift. Despite only entering the fray midway through the second half, Pelova swung the match in favour of the Dutch with tireless, direct and adroit movement and punishing skill. It’s impossible to think that she won’t start the quarterfinal after that.
Switzerland (4-2-3-1): Thalmann 5; Maritz 5, Calligaris 6, Buhler 6, Aigbogun 6; Walti 6, Maendly 7; Crnogorcevic 5, Sow 5, Reuteler 7; Bachmann 7
SUBS: Kiwic 6, Stierli 6, Folmli 6, Xhemaili 7, Mauron 7
Netherlands (4-2-3-1): Van Domselaar 7; Wilms 6, Van der Gragt 7, Nouwen 6, Janssen 7; Spitse 7, Groenen 6; Van de Donk 7, Roord 6, Martens 7; Beerensteyn 5
SUBS: Pelova 8, Casparij 6, Brugts 7, Leuchter 8, Egurrola 6
20’ PENALTY! Brilliant from Beerensteyn, as a looses ball breaks to her 30 yards out. She bursts past Buhler and is clean through; Thalman rushes out and seems to get the ball first and ricochet it off Beerensteyn and out, but a penalty is given as Beerensteyn goes down! This could get overturned.
23’ NO PENALTY! After a VAR review our referee Demetrescu overturns it! That’s the right decision, because Beerensteyn went down with no contact.
49’ GOAL! SWITZERLAND 0 NETHERLANDS 1 (CRNOGORCEVIC OG 49) Some slick passing down the left by Netherlands leads to them winning a corner. It’s lumped to the back post where Van der Gragt is free; she heads it back across goal, and Crnogorcevic tries to head clear but can only divert it into her own net! That’ll go down as an own goal I’m pretty sure, although it’s credited initially to Van Der Gragt.
53’ GOAL! SWITZERLAND 1 (REUTELER 53) NETHERLANDS 1 Hello hello! Bachmann breaks superbly through the inside left channel and into the penalty area. She cuts it back to Reutler near the penalty spot, who stumbles through one challenge before coolly placing a passed finish into the net. What a response!
84’ GOAL! SWITZERLAND 1 NETHERLANDS 2 (LEUCHTER 84) This is surely over. The Dutch work a crossing chance for Wilms on the right. She loops a cross into the box, Thalmann comes for it, but Leuchter gets there first and drops a gentle, looping header into the far corner.
89’ GOAL! SWITZERLAND 1 NETHERLANDS 3 (PELOVA 89) A free kick from the Dutch is whipped in and flicked on to the back post, where Pelova races in to poke the ball home. It’s chalked immediately for offside, but after a lengthy VAR review reveals that it was flicked on by two Swiss defenders, it’s overturned and the goal stands!
90+5’ GOAL! SWITZERLAND 1 NETHERLANDS 4 (LEUCHTER 90+5) It’s another one, as Pelova breaks through on the right of the area, scuffs a shot horribly and Leuchter pounces again to make it four from close range.