On Tuesday, August 1, the Netherlands proved why they should’ve been considered a World Cup favorite following their 7-0 thrashing of Vietnam. The win and lopsided score were more than enough for the Dutch Lionesses (Oranje Leeuwinnen) to come out of Group E on top.
They head into the knockout phases of the tournament riding a huge wave of momentum following the biggest win in World Cup history for the Netherlands regardless of gender.
Although Vietnam had the first chance of the game, it was clear from the get-go that the gulf in quality between the two sides was simply too much for Vietnam to overcome.
Lieke Martens opened the scoring with a wonderful lob over the keeper in the 8th minute before Katja Snoeijs made it 2-0 three minutes later.
The nail in the coffin was hammered in by Esmee Brugts in the 18th minute when she put away a wonderful effort from outside the box to make it 3-0. The 20-year-old, who plays for PSV Eindhoven, has continued to prove her rising star status during the World Cup.
Jill Roord almost made it 4-0 less than a minute later, but it was in the 23rd minute that the Netherlands made clear they wouldn’t show any mercy in their bid to top Group E as Roord finally scored. To make matters even worse for Vietnam, Danielle van de Donk had a lucky bounce land her way, bringing the score to 5-0 just before half-time.
The rest of the match turned into a formality, as neither side really put their foot on the gas. Vietnam continued to defend throughout the second half, which paid off as the Netherlands would only score twice in the remaining 45 minutes.
Brugts somehow scored an identical goal to her first to make it 6-0 in the 58th minute before Roord extended the lead to 7 in the 83rd. After putting on the best performance of this World Cup so far, Orange Leeuwinnen is not a team anybody would want to face in the upcoming win-or-go-home rounds.
Captain Sherida Spitse puts in another classy performance
There was not much to do for captain Sherida Spitse. Lining up in defense, the Sneek-born defender was never under any real threat from the Vietnamese forwards and gradually made her way up the pitch as the scoreline increased.
She finished the match completing 87% of her passes and creating five chances for the team. She was eventually replaced in the 73rd minute to loud applause from the Dutch fans in attendance.
The former SC Heerenveen midfielder/defender continues to extend her lead as the Dutch international with the most matches played for Oranje Leeuwinnen. Spitse currently sits at the top of the list with 218 official games, 56 more than second-placed Annemieke Kiesel-Griffioen.
The next step towards World Cup glory
The squad had a tall task ahead of them coming into this match. A win would guarantee a spot in the next round, but they also needed the heavy favorite team USA to draw or lose to Portugal in order to top the group.
Thankfully for Orange Leeuwinnen, the USA failed to score against Portugal, declaring the Netherlands as the winners of a tough group E.
They’ll now face whoever comes second in Group G, which is to be decided between South Africa, Italy, and Argentina, who play on Wednesday, August 2.
Their first match of the knockout phase will take place on Sunday, August 4 at 4 a.m. local time in the Sydney Football Stadium
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