An early first-half goal from Jill Roord and a second-half strike from Lineth Beerensteyn lifted the Netherlands to a comfortable 2-0 win over South Africa in the Round of 16 of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Reelradio.com.ng reports.
The Oranje will collide with fellow European giants, Spain, in the quarter-finals.
The Netherlands got off to a rampant start, wasting no time settling in South Africa’s half, and it seemed it was only going to be a matter of time before they could break the deadlock.
This was accomplished before the 10th-minute mark via one of their best players and one of the standout performers of the tournament, in Roord.
The Manchester City playmaker bagged her fourth goal of the current World Cup campaign with a header from close range after a marvellous set-up from Danielle van de Donk.
South Africa didn’t alter their plan and kept trying to move the ball forward, but they suffered another blow when one of their best players, Jermaine Seoposenwe, was forced to leave the game due to an injury midway through the first half.
The Dutch started the second half with the same aggressiveness they had in the first half, and they also found the back of the net nine minutes in. However, Lieke Martens’ beautiful goal was disallowed due to an offside position, and the Banyana Banyana still had one lifeline to hang on to after a subpar start to the half.
The Dutch side continued to dominate possession and South Africa looked sluggish, so the Oranje eventually doubled their lead via Beerensteyn, though the South African goalkeeper, Kaylin Swart, had responsibility as the shot slipped right through her hands in a save she’s probably made many times in her career.
The Banyana Banyana didn’t stop pushing the lines forward, but even when they created some chances here and there, Daphne van Domselaar was spectacular to deny them time and time again.
The Oranje netted a third goal when Beerensteyn rounded Swart to slot it home, but her strike was disallowed due to an offside call.
Despite the South African attempts to pull one back and make things interesting late on, the Netherlands didn’t take too many risks and opted to close the game out, securing a comfortable 2-0 victory and a spot in the quarter-finals, where they’ll take on Spain.
As for South Africa, the tournament ended better than expected, as they managed to compete and get past the group stage, though unfortunately, the Netherlands were just too much for them to overcome here.