Sweden left waiting for revenge against the Dutch

Sports Desk, Jul 9 (EFE).- Sweden, silver medalists at the 2021 Olympics, were hoping Saturday to avenge a pair of high-stakes defeats to the Netherlands, but were forced to settle for a draw in the Women’s Euro 2022 England opener for both squads.

The reigning champions overcame losing their starting goalkeeper and top defender to injury in the first half to eke out a 1-1 result at Bramall Lane in Sheffield.

The other two teams in Group C, Portugal and Switzerland, drew 2-2 earlier Saturday in Manchester.

The Dutch eliminated the Swedes in the quarterfinals of Euro 2017 and beat them again to qualify for the 2019 World Cup, so the Scandinavian side needed no extra motivation.

Neither team was very adventurous to start and the Dutch were forced to adjust their approach after keeper – and team captain – Sari van Veenendaal went down in the 21st minute and was replaced by 22-year-old Daphne van Domselaar.

Sweden took the lead 15 minutes later on Jonna Andersson’s goal, brilliantly assisted by Kosovare Asllani, who nutmegged center-back Aniek Nouwen minutes before the defender injured her hamstring and had to go off.

The Netherlands improved in the second half and pulled level in the 52nd minute with a goal from Jill Roord.

The Swedes seemed more interested in victory, but the Dutch hung on to take a point in front of 21,342 at Bramall Lane – the largest crowd ever for a Women’s European Championship match outside the final not involving the hosts.

Neither the Portuguese nor the Swiss are seen as contenders, but Portugal showed mettle in Saturday’s match at Leigh Sports Village.

Trailing 2-0 after five minutes on goals by Coumba Sow and Rahel Kiwic, Portugal went on to go level in the second half thanks to Diana Gomes and Jessica Silva and only the post stopped Telma Encarnacao from winning it for the Iberian side in the 87th minute.

EFE apa/dr

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