The defending runner-up Netherlands has won tickets to the quarter-finals of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, after a 2-0 win over South Africa in the round of 16 on August 6.
The South African women’s team entered the match against the Netherlands with the determination to make history for the first time in the quarterfinals of the World Cup. Meanwhile, the defending runner-up Netherlands must avoid becoming the latest big name to be shocked, when facing the 54th ranked team in the world in Sydney (Australia).
The Dutch women’s team is ranked 9th in the world and is considered most likely to win tickets to the quarterfinals to set up a “blockbuster” clash with Spain, who won Switzerland 5-1 in the round of 16. . But this is a World Cup full of shocks, many big names including Olympic champions Canada, Brazil, Germany and Italy have all been eliminated from the group stage. So many people also thought that another “giant” might be eliminated soon.
Desiree Ellis’ South Africa won the World Cup for the first time, when Thembi Kgatlana scored in the 92nd minute to beat Italy 3-2 in the final round of the group stage. However, against the Netherlands, the team from Africa was soon “washed with cold water” by conceding an early goal in the 9th minute, after a close-range header from midfielder Jill Roord.
However, as said by coach Andries Jonker of the Dutch women’s team, they will face a South Africa “playing with all their heart and soul, for the people”. And South Africa somewhat showed that in the first half, although they were completely inferior in possession time.
Coach Desiree Ellis’ side had five shots on target in the first 45 minutes – their most in a match at this year’s Women’s World Cup . In particular, striker Thembi Kgatlana became a rather dangerous spearhead, constantly making the Dutch defense worried with 4 shots on target. It should be remembered that the defending runner-up Netherlands only faced 4 shots on target from the opponent in the group stage.
The orange team still maintained the dominant position in the second half. The pressure they created caused South Africa’s Kaylin Swart to make a serious mistake, helping Lineth Beerensteyn to double the lead in the 68th minute. from Africa then had opportunities to score, but the strikers could not take advantage.
With this victory, the Dutch women’s team will meet Spain in the quarter-finals on August 11.