The Dutch women’s football team won the World Cup qualifying match against Belarus tonight with great difficulty. National coach Mark Parsons’ side won 0-2 in Minsk thanks to goals from Lieke Martens and Daniëlle van de Donk. Stefanie van der Gragt from Heerhugowaard and Merel van Dongen, born in Amsterdam, played the whole game for the Orange team.
The Orange team started the match without top scorer Vivianne Miedema. The attacker had not traveled to Minsk and rested. Jill Roord therefore left at the forefront of the attack. Miedema’s absence was clearly noticeable as the Orange struggled to find Belarus’s goal.
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It wasn’t until the 70th minute that Lieke Martens scored the first liberating goal with a curling shot. After the 1-0 Belarus resistance was broken and Van de Donk was able to score the second and also decisive goal for the Netherlands shortly after. After the 2-0, victory was no longer in danger.
The victory keeps the Netherlands at the top of the group with 10 points in 4 matches. Only the number one qualifies directly for the World Cup in two years in Australia and New Zealand. The vice-champion plays the play-offs.
Configuration in the Netherlands: Van Veenendaal; Folkertsma (Casperij / 70), Van der Gragt, Nouwen, Van Dongen; Pelova (Smits / 46), Spitse, Groenen (Van de Sanden / 76); Van de Donk, Roord, Martens
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