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READ | Dutch defeated as France advance in final Women's EURO 2022 fixture in Rotherham

23 July 2022

Club News

READ | Dutch defeated as France advance in final Women's EURO 2022 fixture in Rotherham

23 July 2022

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Rotherham United’s AESSEAL New York Stadium hosted its final match of the Women’s EURO 2022 competition as France and Netherlands battled in out in a hotly-contested Quarter Final on Saturday evening, which saw Eve Perisset win the tie with her coolly despatched penalty following another intervention from VAR.

90 minutes wasn't eough to separate two of the tournament's highly-fancied teams, with extra-time and a helping hand needed from the Video Assistant Referee to pave the way for Perisset to win it for France.

It was a first visit to the Millers’ home for the reigning European champions from the Netherlands, whilst the fixture marked France’s fourth in Rotherham – having previously seen off the challenges of Italy and Belgium before recording a draw against Iceland in Group D.

France were also looking to overcome their Quarter Final hoodoo having never previously advanced beyond the stage in the Women’s EUROs previously.

It was they who would make the early running and, having stung the palms of Daphne Van Domselaar they should have taken the lead. With less than 25 minutes on the clock, the ball dropped invitingly for Sandie Toletti, who had her head in her hands when she blazed an effort over inside the area with the goal at her mercy.

They came even closer to edging themselves in front just shy of half an hour when the width of the post denied Delphine Cascarino, who left the ‘keeper rooted to the spot with her low effort which cannoned off the upright and away from danger.

The best chance of the half came for France and Melvine Malard – who had been on-target for her side in Rotherham previously. A cutback from the byline from Kadidiatou Diani found her unmarked in the six yard box, where she swivelled to shoot into an almost open goal, only to find Stefanie Van der Gragt impeccably positioned to block her strike on the line and keep the scores deadlocked at 0-0.

Unbelievably, Van der Gragt would be in the way of a French goal again minutes later, this time following a header across goal from Wendy Renard into the path of Grace Geyoro, who fired the ball directly at the Dutch defender, once again keeping France’s advances at bay.

Van der Gragt’s performance continued to be defensively outstanding and she was once again found putting her body on the line when a swift counter-attack from France came to an end as she threw herself at a Geyoro centre to ensure that Malard was unable to turn it home from close range.

Half-time | France 0 v 0 Netherlands

The second half kicked off at least in slightly less frenetic fashion, with neither side mustering any real opportunities of note inside the first 10 minutes.

The break had clearly done the Dutch good and they evidenced that as they almost executed a set piece routine to perfection on 57 minutes. A corner was perfectly delivered to the skipper Vivianne Mledema, who made a good connection with her volley, but couldn’t keep it below the crossbar.

Having been so pivotal in her own defensive third, it was at the other end where star of the first half Van der Gragt nearly made an impact just shy of the hour-mark. Her back post leap saw her connect with a decent header, directed at the bottom corner, which drew a smart but fairly routine save from the France stopper.

The French responed with set piece attempts of their own with Wendy Renard and Diani forcing a goal line clearance and save from the ‘keeper respectively as the tie moved into the final 25 minutes.

France substitute Selma Bacha almost introduced herself in spectacular fashion when she unleashed a dipping drive from 30 yards out which needed to be well-watched – and was – by Van Domselaar, who calculated her angles precisely to make the save.

Bacha then looked to provide the ammunition for Renard from an attacking set piece, but the skipper couldn’t direct her far post header at the target under pressure.

The game had been played at such a pace that it began to show in the latter stages of the 90 minutes of regulation time, that was until the 87th minute when Geyoro’s eyes would light up at the back post. A cross from the right was pinpoint, and the France number eight did everything right to position herself to meet it, but couldn’t finish the job as she steered her header wide.

With the game in added time, Delphine Cascarino looked to take France’s fate into her own hands as she twisted and turned following a burst up the right wing, before drawing a smart near post save from the Dutch ‘keeper.

Renard must have been sure she’d won it seconds later, when her looping header at the far post was headed for the back of the net until Van Domselaar intervened again, getting a strong palm to the effort to turn it around the post.

Full-time | France 0 v 0 Netherlands

The first five minutes of the restart passes without drama, but when a lapse in concentration in the Dutch defence allowed Charlotte Bilbault to pick the ball up and drive for goal there was a moment of panic, until Pauline Peyraud-Magnin safely watched her long-ranger over the crossbar.

The rearguards of both sides had been so stubborn that neither side looked like scoring from open play, despite the two teams enjoying glorious opportunities. It was fitting then that the deadlock was finally broken after VAR had to intervene to deem Dominique Janssen guilty of bringing down Diani in the penalty area, which paved the way for Eve Perisset to compose herself from 12 yards and despatch her penalty kick – despite the ‘keeper going the right way.

Bacha looked to test the 'keeper again and put further daylight between the two sides in first half stoppage time of extra time, but could only ripple the side netting with her ferocious strike from a tight angle.

Half-time of Extra Time | France 1 v 0 Netherlands

A raft of changes saw both sides introduce fresh legs, but it was the Dutch replacements - namely Romee Leuchter - who made the greatest early impact. Her electric charge for the box allowed her to pull a ball back for Victoria Pelova, whose powerful strike was blocked en-route to goal by a retreating blue shirt.

Ouleymata Sarr, also introduced at the break, then caught a glimpse of goal as she charged on the angle, but pulled her right-footed strike wide of the near post with the 'keeper always comfortable.

The Netherlands continued to battle for an equaliser but in doing so, left gaps at the back. One of those holes in their defence was almost exploited when the ball fell kindly for French sub Clara Mateo, who couldn't hit the target with another fierce strike.

A free kick right at the death saw the Dutch 'keeper join the attack, but to no avail, as France held on to advance beyond the Quarter Finals for the first time in their history in the competition.

Full-time after Extra Time | France 1 v 0 Netherlands


Attendance | 9,764

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