Wednesday 10 August 2022

Netherlands lose key players for Portugal match to injury and coronavirus

Jackie Groenen during Saturday’s match in Sheffield. Photo: ANP/Franck Fife

The Netherlands will be without Jackie Groenen for their second European Championship match against Portugal after the midfielder tested positive for coronavirus.

The Manchester United star was one of the outstanding players in the opening 1-1 draw against Sweden that puts the Dutch in a strong position to qualify from Group C. Both countries are among the favourites to win the tournament.

Jill Roord equalised early in the second half after Jonna Andersson had put the Swedes ahead.

The Dutch also lost their goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal and defender Aniek Nouwen to injuries during the game. Both face a battle to be fit for Wednesday’s match against Portugal, who drew 2-2 in their opening match against Switzerland.

More than two million people tuned in to watch Saturday’s match, according to research foundation Stichting Kijkonderzoek.

Oranje will play Switzerland in their final group match on Sunday evening. The other favourites France, Germany, Spain and England all won their opening group games.

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