France top the Netherlands to reach their 1st Women’s Euro semifinal
Sports Desk, Jul 23 (EFE).- France are through to the semifinals of the Women’s Euro for the first time after beating the Dutch defending champions 1-0 Saturday in extra time.
The French will face Germany, who have won the competition a record eight times, next Wednesday at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes, near London, a day after tournament hosts England battle Sweden at Bramall Lane in Sheffield.
The score flattered the Dutch, who would have been crushed if not for some heroics from goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar – playing in her fifth official match for the national side – and defender Stefanie van der Gragt.
France dominated from the start, even without injured striker Marie-Antoinette Katoto, and should have been up by several goals at the break.
Delphine Cascarino, who led the French attack, forced a good stop from Van Domselaar before hitting the post on another chance, while Sandie Toletti sent the ball skyward with an open net in front of her.
And Melvine Malard and Grace Geyoro got around Van Domselaar only to be thwarted on the goal line by Van der Gragt.
The Dutch had a little more of the ball in the second half, yet they would end the night with just one shot on target to 13 for France.
Geyoro missed the mark on a tremendous chance in the 86th minute and Van Domselaar produced a spectacular save against Wendie Renard in the 93rd to send the contest into extra time, spurring excitement among the orange-clad Netherlands supporters in the stands at New York Stadium in Rotherham.
The Dutch hopes dimmed when VAR decided to take a second look after Dominique Janssen brought down Kadidiatou Diani in the area.
The penalty was awarded and Eve Perisset took the kick. Van Domselaar got a hand to it, but the French defender’s shot was too powerful. EFE