Women’s World Cup: Netherlands beat Italy 2-0 to reach first semi-final | Total Football News
Highlights: Italy 0-2 NetherlandsThe Netherlands reached the Women's World Cup semi-finals for the first time thanks to two second-half headers against Italy in Valenciennes.Vivianne Miedema, the Netherlands' all-time top scorer, net...

Women’s World Cup: Netherlands beat Italy 2-0 to reach first semi-final

Highlights: Italy 0-2 Netherlands

The Netherlands reached the Women's World Cup semi-finals for the first time thanks to two second-half headers against Italy in Valenciennes.

Vivianne Miedema, the Netherlands' all-time top scorer, netted her 61st international goal with a glancing header from Sherida Spitse's free-kick.

And Stefanie van der Gragt powered home another Spitse free-kick to seal their place in the last four.

The European champions will face Germany or Sweden in the semi-final.

That fourth quarter-final kicks off at 17:30 BST. The semi-final will be in Lyon on Wednesday.

Can Dutch go all the way?

The Netherlands are playing at a World Cup finals for only the second time, and went out in the last 16 in 2015.

They were victors at Euro 2017, their home tournament, and they had great support in Valenciennes, which is only a two-hour drive from the Dutch border.

It was an even first half at the Stade du Hainaut but the Netherlands blew Italy away after the break.

They had 15 shots in the second half alone, including Danielle van de Donk's wonderful curling chip from the edge of the box which hit the bar.

Italy had no answer for them, and Spitse - who had already blasted a long-range free-kick inches wide - was the decisive figure in the end. Her free-kicks were headed home by Miedema and then Van der Gragt in the space of 10 minutes.

She has now set up four goals in the tournament, more than anybody else.

The Netherlands will compete in next year's Olympics in Tokyo as a result of being one of the final three European teams in the World Cup.

Italy's brave run comes to an end

Italy were the surprise team of the tournament. This was their first World Cup in 20 years and they topped a group including Australia, Brazil and Jamaica before beating China in the last 16.

Captain Sara Gama said in the build-up to the game that they wanted to build a legacy in Italy, adding: "We must give ourselves a timeline to avoid wasting everything we have done and carry on the project."

Italy gave it a really good go in the first half and Valentina Bergamaschi should have done better with two free shots in the area, but both were saved by Sari van Veenendaal.

They understandably tired in 34C heat in the second half - the women's game is not fully professional in Italy - and were well beaten in the end.

But boss Milena Bertolini's pre-match hope of "helping the Italian public discover the women's game" has surely been achieved.

Match stats - second-half goals and headers again from Dutch

  • Eight of the Netherlands' 10 goals at the 2019 Women's World Cup have been in the second half with five coming after the 75th minute.
  • The Dutch have scored more headed goals than any other team at the 2019 Women's World Cup (five).
  • The Netherlands are only the third side to win their first Women's World Cup quarter-final (excluding the first tournament in 1991) - Brazil (1999) and Canada (2003) are the others.
  • They have won their past 11 major tournament games, including six at Euro 2017 and five in France.
  • Italy did not concede a goal from open play at the World Cup.


This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/48777144