In the early game of Sunday’s round of 16, the Netherlands beat South Africa 2-0 in Sydney to move on to the quarterfinals.
The Dutch, who were runners-up in 2019, will now play Spain in the last eight. However, they had some tense moments in front of 40,000 fans in Sydney, and they had goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar to thank for making some key saves in the first half.
After nine minutes, Jill Roord scored to put the Dutch ahead against a team that was in the knockout rounds for the first time and was 45 places below them in the world rankings.
The Dutch got a second goal when South Africa’s goalie, Kaylin Swart, messed up a harmless shot by Lineth Beerensteyn in the middle of the second half.
The African champions will be kicking themselves because they had a lot of chances in the first 45 minutes, but their fiery leader, Thembi Kgatlana, missed almost all of them.
“Daphne saved us a few times, and I was happy to be up 1-0 at halftime,” said Dutch coach Andries Jonker.
“In the second half, we did much better and had much more control of the game. We deserved to score again and to win in the end.”
His team will now go back to New Zealand to play Spain on Friday in Wellington. On Saturday, Spain beat Switzerland 5-1.
Desiree Ellis, the coach of South Africa, was happy, but she thought her team should have won.
“We had a lot of chances to end the game, especially in the first half,” she said.
“The risks we took should have made us invisible.” #Netherlands
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