Sports Desk, Jul 13 (EFE).- The Netherlands prevailed 3-2 Wednesday over a scrappy Portugal side to claim first place in Group C of Women’s Euro 2022 England.
But the reigning champions are not assured of advancing to the quarterfinals. The Dutch are level on points with Sweden, 2-1 winners earlier Wednesday against Switzerland, and only lead the group by virtue of scoring more goals than the Swedes.
Nor can Portugal and Switzerland – each with 1 point – be counted out ahead of their final group stage matches Sunday with Sweden and the Netherlands, respectively.
The Orange Lionesses came into the contest against Portugal at Leigh Sports Village in suburban Manchester without their first-team goalkeeper, who was injured in the opener, and top scorer Vivianne Miedema, sidelined after testing positive for Covid-19.
Portugal’s Ana Borges scored in the 5th minute, but the goal was disallowed for an offside and Damaris Egurrola headed in a corner two minutes later to put the Dutch up 1-0.
Stephanie van der Gragt doubled the advantage in the 16th minute, but missed the celebration because she needed first aid after taking a boot to the face as she headed the ball into the net.
Having come back from two goals down to Switzerland in their first match, Portugal kept their poise and got back in the match with some help from VAR, which spotted Dominique Janssen fouling Diana Silva in the box.
Portugal were awarded a penalty and Carole Costa converted to narrow the deficit to 2-1 in the 38th minute.
And the Portuguese drew level two minutes into the second half, as Diana Silva got her head to a cross from Costa.
Jill Roord restored the Dutch lead three minutes later, only to see the goal disallowed for offside after a lengthy VAR review.
But there would be no reprieve in the 62nd minute when Danielle van de Donk sent the ball into the top corner of the net with a great strike from the edge of the area for what would prove to be the match winner.
At Bramall Lane in Sheffield, Switzerland held off Sweden until Fridolina Rolfo’s goal in the 53rd minute and equalized in the 55th thanks to Ramona Bachmann.
But Hanna Bennison’s goal for the Swedes in the 79th minute turned out to be the last word. EFE