The Orange Lionesses drew unfavorably in the Nations League. The team managed by Andries Jonker were linked with the European champions in Group A. It is Sarina Wiegman’s England. Belgium and Scotland complete the group.
The Netherlands were in Pot 2 in the draw and therefore had at least one tough opponent to rely on. So it was the hardest on paper. Wiegman served as Orange’s national coach from 2017 to 2021. During that time, she won the European title in her own country. In 2022, Wiegman put the Netherlands aside against England by winning 5-1 in a friendly match.
Jonker responded with satisfaction to the draw. ,,In general, I’m happy with the draw, especially if you compare it with other groups,” he said. “As reigning European champions, England are the toughest opponents we can face. It will be a big challenge and for the Netherlands who love women’s football, the players and also for me, it’s special to play against Sarina Wiegman’s England.
From a sporting point of view, it’s a good thing that we are going to play more top level matches. On the other hand, these high-level games again mean an extra load for the same players
,,Belgium is an opponent that we will also meet in our farewell game in the run-up to the World Cup. It is a country that is developing well and an adversary that should not be underestimated. Scotland should not be underestimated either. In my first international match in September, we narrowly beat Scotland 2-1. It’s a tough team with some good players individually,” Jonker said.
“I have mixed feelings about this new setup,” Jonker admitted. “From a sporting point of view, it’s a good thing that we are playing more high-level matches. On the other hand, these high-level matches again mean an extra burden for the same players.
This is the first edition of the Nations League in women’s football. Partly due to the success of the men’s variant, this was put in place for national teams to play more equal international matches. The tournament has three divisions. “League A”, to which the Netherlands belong, is the highest rung of the pyramid. In this document, 16 countries are divided into four groups. The winner qualifies for the semi-finals, the number 2 remains, the number 3 plays a play-off against a number 2 of League B for his survival and the last player is relegated.
Olympic Qualification Tournament
The Nations League is also being used as a qualifying tournament for next year’s Summer Olympics in Paris. The two finalists of the “Final Four” qualify for Paris 2024. The four group winners of Ligue A will participate in the Final Four. As with the men, the semi-finals and the final take place in a single country. Matches are played on neutral ground. So there is no question of a back and forth game.
If France reaches the final, the winner of the match for third place will go to the Olympics. The French, under the direction of Hervé Renard, have already been placed as hosts. The first edition of the tournament starts in September, the final round is scheduled for February 2024.
Wiegman must also miss Kirby at the World Cup
Sarina Wiegman will also be unable to have England international Fran Kirby at the World Cup next summer. The 29-year-old Chelsea player, who scored two more goals in last year’s European Championship victory, is due to undergo knee surgery and is focused on the start of next season. Kirby had been recovering from his knee injury for months, but now it turned out that it wasn’t going fast enough. “I am completely devastated that my season is now over and that I have to miss the World Cup,” the midfielder wrote on social media.
Two other important players, Leah Williamson and Beth Mead, have already been injured. England will play their first World Cup game against Haiti on July 22. After that, Denmark and China are the group stage opponents. The tournament in Australia and New Zealand begins on July 20.
World Cup Schedule
At the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand this year, the Orange Lionesses will meet defending champions USA in the group stage, which the Netherlands will play in New Zealand. See the full Women’s World Cup schedule herewhich will take place from July 20 to August 20.
Columns Vivianne Miedema
Every month Vivianne Miedema writes a column for this site on what affects her in (inter)national women’s football. Read all of his columns here. Oranje Leeuwinnen’s top scorer will be there next summer at the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand because of it a serious knee injury by the way no.
Watch all of our Orange Lionesses videos here
Free and unlimited access to Showbytes? That can!
Log in or create an account and don’t miss anything from the stars.
“Devoted bacon guru. Award-winning explorer. Internet junkie. Web lover.”