SHEFHILDE, England – The stage could not have been better set for Saturday’s heavyweight Euro 2022 match between defending champions the Netherlands and Sweden.
The Dutch team had beaten Sweden in the semi-finals of the 2017 World Cup and the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup. But, ever since their coaching coach Sarina Wigman moved to England, the question has arisen as to whether Mark Parsons will be able to pull the game out of his team as he did in 2017.
Sweden, meanwhile, had a point to prove themselves, and not just against the Netherlands, as they were trying to win their first major medal since winning the early Euros.
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Sweden’s Magdalena Erickson said before the match, “It’s a little extra fuel for me; I would like a little change. I want a good result against the Netherlands for a variety of reasons and that will add a little fuel to the fire. ” The competition began.
And with the game ending 1-1 at Bramhall Lane, Sweden put up a strong performance in the first half on both sides. He did not hit the Netherlands goal with a hammer but he caught the ball well and pushed it. A collision in the penalty box around 20-minutes forced the Netherlands to make an early change as Sarai Van Viendel later indicated she could not continue.
The veteran goalkeeper was included in the “Best XI” of the 2017 tournament and won the World Cup Goalkeeper Award. He has not scored the best runs in the tournament, but he is still the most experienced option in the Netherlands and his replacement Daphne van Domseler has just one senior cap before Saturday.
Anik Neuven’s dismissal at the end of the first half added to the Netherlands’ defensive difficulties.
Peter Gerhardson’s side looked ready to move on as Sweden had already scored well. They still had star player Stina Blacksteinius on the bench when needed and young Hannah Bennison. It was also ironic that defender Joanna Anderson scored because of the firepower she had. Although not entirely outside Sweden, the five defenders scored 10 of their 40 goals in the qualifying round. He managed to keep the Netherlands’ all-time leading run-scorer – Vivian Medema – quiet, and Sweden was doing more with the ball when possession was evenly divided between the two.
But the second half was the same old thing for Sweden. He was dismissed while playing at the top and despite the team’s good score. Midema went deep and had a lot of success on the left against Amanda Elstad. Purists often complain that when Midema falls like this, he prefers the role of a more traditional striker, but he likes the position he gets and this was clearly the area he targeted because it was one of those runs that beat the Netherlands. For their similarity.
Despite bringing in Blacksteinius and Benisson, Sweden looked more scary than the first half. He struggled for Sweden’s goal but Van Domseler did well for his second cap and turned down confident shots proving his experience.
After the game, it became clear that the Netherlands knew they had changed places, while Sweden were disappointed. Parsons admitted that the first 20 minutes and the defeat of such key players affected him.
He said, “The first half, I think it was tough but we had some good moments when we took control of football. “The spaces were too big which meant Viv and the others had to run more.
“Emotions can be everywhere when you lose a captain and centerback, but everyone stays calm.”
“Quiet” is probably the right word to describe his initial unfortunate reaction from the Netherlands. When asked what he told his players at halftime, Parsons joked: “I just asked Vivala his thoughts and left.”
But Midema – who lifted the captain’s armband as he landed on Van Wendell – accelerated the latter half and led his team to that valuable point. His performance made him a man of the match and it was easy to see how much tone and instrument he was for the team on the pitch.
“If you watch our first 15, 20 minutes, I think we’re very proud to have scored one point,” she said after the game.
,[I’m] So happy We had a lot of contact on the pitch in the first half. There were a lot of emotions going on in the meantime. You just come along. “
The relief that Parsons and Midema received was comparable to Gerhardson’s apparent frustration.
Asked if he thought his side had won on the pitch, he said, “I’m somewhere in the middle.”
“Emotions are always sad when you don’t win games.
“You want to win a game because you’re preparing for it.”
The resilience of the Netherlands team at the top of the tournament was questioned, especially as they conceded five defeats in a friendly against host England a few weeks before the tournament, but the game against the tournament’s favorite Sweden was a test of resilience and mental strength. There was a lesson. ,
They cast out some of the ghosts that haunted them, and the Swedes are still wondering if they can come back to show that they will once again stand with medals – or at least – from the lost. If they want to make it all the way, they need to find out more about the fire that Ericsson talked about before the competition and use it to catch up on all their previous failures.