Wednesday 10 August 2022

Euro 2022: Dutch beat Portugal to become group leaders

Pride of Lionesses Photo: Daniel Mihailescu, ANP

The Orange Lionesses overcame injuries and Covid-19 to beat Portugal 3-2 and elevate the defending champions to the top of Group C, with Sweden, Portugal and Switzerland behind them.

Daniëlle van de Donk scored the winning goal at England’s Leigh Sports Village in the second half to almost assure the Dutch team a place in the quarter-finals. They only need to draw against the Swiss on Sunday to move into the next round.

The Orange Lionesses were playing without star player, striker Vivianne Miedema, who was ruled out with coronavirus.

‘We are a good team and are trying to be a great team,’ said Dutch coach Mark Parsons. He has not ruled out Miedema playing in the third and final group game Sunday. ‘Typical Viv. I had a text from her saying, “I’m good, get me back and give me the test”.’

After the Dutch scored two goals in the first 17 minutes of play, Portugal mounted an impressive comeback before Van de Donk clinched the win with a stunner 62 minutes in.

The Orange squad prevailed without four of its players, who together form the team’s axis. Parsons was forced to shift his line-up, choosing Daphne van Domselaar, Marisa Olislagers, Damaris Egurrola and Lineth Beerensteyn in the starting eleven. Up-and-comer Egurrola scored the game’s first goal.

Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal and defender Aniek Nouwen sat out the match with injuries, while Jackie Groenen was also absent with coronavirus.

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