It is not in the nature of an athlete to lose a match to avoid a strong opponent in the next round. Sarina Wiegman thinks so too. However, the national women’s football coach also knows that in some cases this can be a scenario to consider. For example, it is not an attractive prospect to meet the United States in the quarterfinals of the Olympic tournament. “You prefer to cross this country a little later.
After Saturday’s 3-3 against Brazil, the most likely scenario is that the Netherlands, number one in Group F, will have to play in the quarter-finals against number two in Group G. And it will almost certainly be the States. -United. The four-time world champion and four-time Olympic champion took revenge on the loss to Sweden on Saturday by beating New Zealand 6-1. The Netherlands’ last two matches with the Americans, the World Cup final in Lyon and a training match in Breda, were lost 2-0 without a chance.
To avoid the Americans, the Netherlands are unlikely to beat China in the final group game in Yokohama on Tuesday. This in itself seems an impossible task. China did not go further than 4-4 on Saturday against Zambia, which was passed by the Netherlands on Wednesday 10-3. Moreover, the question is whether it is not morally wrong not to voluntarily win a game. This could damage the reputation of the Dutch team.
On the other hand, it is often said that in high performance sport anything goes to achieve the ultimate goal. Wiegman kept himself on the plain after the entertaining duel with Brazil. “It’s always dangerous to calculate,” said the national coach, who also stressed that the Netherlands are at 99.9 but not yet 100% sure of the quarter-finals. And she knew that the Netherlands, number two in the group, could meet Great Britain, Canada or Japan. Also three big opponents.
The defense against Brazil was slightly better than against Zambia, but the Netherlands again conceded three goals, which came from situations to be avoided. Unfortunately, Wiegman referred to the conceded goals, but she also praised the qualities of the Brazilian strikers. Vivianne Miedema again proved her class in the Dutch attack. The striker signed for the 1-0 and the 2-1.
Brazil have joined twice, through Debinha and Marta from the penalty spot. Ludmilla even made 2-3 for Swedish national coach Pia Sundhage’s side. She took advantage of an incorrect pass from Anniek Nouwen. It finally became 3-3 with a nice free kick from Dominique Janssen.
Just before the hour, Miedema was replaced by a sore groin. She said not to worry about Tuesday’s game against China. A game the Netherlands have to win to win. Whatever the consequences of this.
Also read: Three conceded goals cast a shadow over Dutch women’s football’s monster victory over Zambia
The women’s football team won their Olympic debut against Zambia 10-3. The behavior of the defense was alarming.
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