Women’s Euro 2022: Sweden through to quarter-finals as group winners with emphatic victory despite Netherlands win over Switzerland
Although Sweden started the day behind the Netherlands in the Group C standings, their emphatic 5-0 victory – a result which equaled their biggest victory at a Women’s Euro – against Portugal at Leigh Sports Village propelled the lead team.
While the Netherlands produced their own dominating performance at Bramall Lane, Sheffield, beating Switzerland 4-1, Sweden finished group winners on goal difference.
This means that the world number 2 will face the runners-up in Group D in the next stage, which will be either Iceland, Belgium or Italy, while the defending champions from the Netherlands will face France.
“I had fun today and I feel like the whole team enjoyed playing football. We feel good. We have a lot of respect for Portugal, they have developed a lot, but at the same time , we just wanted to do everything and be as aggressive as possible in the final third.”
Three first-half goals were the nail in the coffin for Portugal and really got Sweden rolling.
Manchester City’s Filippa Angeldal took advantage of mishandling from Portuguese keeper Patrícia Morais from a corner kick to start the scoring midway through the first 45 minutes before doubling the lead with a neat finish from a well-worked set-piece from the halftime shot.
But the scoring didn’t stop there in the first half as in added time Carole Costa headed for her own net from a corner kick.
Asllani scored from the penalty spot to increase the lead to four before Stina Blackstenius finally got his goal, having had two sent off earlier.
“We know we’re usually very good at set pieces so my role there is just to go to the balls that dive and then the second was a variation that we watched a lot, and today the opportunity finally presented itself.”
At the same time, the Netherlands were putting in their own impressive performance.
Despite the absence of star striker Vivianne Miedema due to Covid-19, the Netherlands looked dangerous in attack.
But when the first goal came, it was actually by a Swiss header. As she attempted to clear a Dutch corner, Ana-Maria Crnogorcević’s header could only find its own top corner.
Just four minutes later, Switzerland equalized thanks to a fine close-range finish from Géraldine Reuteler.
As time ticked away and a draw might be in sight, Romée Leuchter’s looping header just crossed the line – her first international goal – before another substitute, Victoria Pelova, doubled the advance of the Netherlands.
There was still time for Leuchter to nab his second of the game, the Netherlands’ fourth, as Switzerland tired and succumbed to the world No. 4 as they drove home from close range.
Netherlands coach Mark Parsons was full of praise for his team afterwards, ahead of the team’s highly anticipated quarter-final against France.
“It makes it fun and entertaining, but we stayed calm. We saw some nerves at 1-1, but the players who came in changed the game. They gave us a lot of quality and energy and it’s gone away. has been produced in every game so far. We’re very happy with who’s starting and we’re very happy with who’s finishing.
“We are facing a big opponent [France], and so do they. I don’t think they want to play with us. [The last time we met], the result was not what we wanted, but we said that the next time we face them, we were convinced that we would be better. We saw an opportunity.”