Dutch dominate; Sweden survive hiccup; France draw

Sports Desk, Jul 23 (EFE).- The Netherlands, who finished second at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, beat Portugal, while Sweden came from behind against South Africa, and France drew with Jamaica on the fourth day of the 2023 edition in Australia and New Zealand.

Stefanie van der Gragt’s goal in the 13th minute proved to be enough for the Dutch against Portugal in Dunedin, New Zealand.

While the first-time qualifiers were not intimidated by the Oranje, they managed only one shot on target.

With the result, the Netherlands keep pace in Group E with defending two-time Women’s World Cup champions the United States, who beat Vietnam in their opener.

South Africa, the reigning African champions, went ahead of mighty Sweden three minutes into the second half under a driving rain in Wellington on a goal by Hildah Magaia.

Fridolina Rulfo brought the Swedes level in the 65th minute and Amanda Ilestedt scored in the final minute of regulation to sustain her team’s hopes of challenging the US for the trophy.

Sweden sit along atop Group G ahead of Monday’s clash between Italy and Argentina.

France, another team expected to vie for the title, had 73 percent possession against Jamaica in Sydney, but failed to put anything past goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer and had to settle for just a point.

For the moment, the teams share the lead in Group F.

The other likely contender in the group, Brazil, will play their opener Monday against Panama. EFE nbo/dr

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