Netherlands First Into #WEURO2017 Semi-Finals

The first quarter-final of EURO2017 saw hosts the Netherlands defeat Sweden 2-0 in Doetinchem and set up a clash with England or France.

The Dutch had the best of the opening spell but Sherida Spitse fired a free-kick well over and when Swedish keeper Hedvig Lindahl barely connected with an attempted punch clear, Vivianne Miedema’s follow-up was blocked.

Stina Blackstenius had Sweden’s first shot but was thwarted by Anouk Dekker and then Sari van Veenedaal did just enough to turn Fridolina Riolfo’s fine cross away from danger.

Miedema almost worked herself a close-range opportunity until Linda Sembrant hooked the ball away at the last moment and Lieke Martens flashed a 20-yard effort wide but the breakthrough was not long off.

In the 33rd minute, Miedema might have won a penalty when brought down by Jessica Samuelson fractionally inside the area but with only a free-kick awarded, Martens found the net anyway.

Blackstenius was allowed to get away down the side of the Dutch penalty area but her ball across the six-yard box was not connected with.

In the first 10 minutes of the second half the Swedes had two clear chances, Riolfo pulled the first just wide and Blackstenius next shot too high.

Miedema headed over from a lovely Martens delivery but shortly after in the 64th minute, it was 2-0 with a swift counter-attack.

Jackie Groenen played a perfect ball out to Shanice van der Sanden and she advanced to square a pass which Miedema finished.

Miedema was close to sealing the win when shooting across goal and wide but at the other end on 80 minutes, Lotta Schelin had a goal ruled out for offside, flagged as Blackstenius having headed past the keeper.

Blackstenius was clean through in the last minute of normal time but fluffed her shot, which was an easy gather for van Veenendaal.

Pictured – Lieke Martens on the attack. (onsoranje.nl)