It was a punishing two hours in Lyon in which neither team really looked like winning, or at least, scoring. Jackie Groenen’s extra-time strike one that highlighted the fatigue of the two after both played in uncomfortably hot temperatures over the weekend, the midfielder allowed ample space between Linda Sembrant and Magda Eriksson to pick up the ball and pick her spot.
With both teams having defended doggedly throughout, the one mistake from the Swedes was enough to decide the game, the Scandinavian nation with their fair share of chances over the night butt thwarted every time. The fan-voted Player of the Match trophy went to Groenen for her winner, although Sari van Veenendaal would arguably have been a better candidate for her game-saving stops and saves over the two hours.
With a day less to recover than their American opposition, having played an extra half hour, the odds are firmly stacked against the European champions.
With Dutch coach, Sarina Wiegman often favouring the same starting XI for each match, the former defender shocked everyone when she dropped Shanice van de Sanden for the match, in favour of Lineth Beerensteyn. If the fatigued side are to cause an upset against the current world champions, the coach will have to shown the same bravery to field the best 11 for the task.
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