Netherlands reach the 2019 Women's World Cup final after 1-0 win against Sweden

Netherlands v Sweden: Semi Final - 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France

Netherlands will take on the United States in the final of the Women’s World Cup after defeating Sweden 1-0 in the semi-final.

The contest finished 0-0 after 90 minutes but Jackie Groenen's superb effort in the 99th minute handed the Dutch the win.

It means the final will be contested by the reigning world champions and the reigning European champions.

The opening exchanges passed without too much drama, with Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal forced to steer a threatening free-kick from Magdalena Eriksson behind in the 19th minute.

Sweden manager Peter Gerhardsson appeared agitated on the touchline, switching between hands-on-hips and frantic arm waving.

In all honesty, the US would not have been scared by what they were seeing. Neither the Netherlands nor Sweden looked like a team capable of really hurting Jill Scott’s team in the final.

Netherlands v Sweden: Semi Final - 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France

Indeed, Pat Nevin even felt that England would have beaten either of these teams.

“Can I just say what everyone is thinking? You do know the Lionesses would hammer both of these two teams,” Nevin said on BBC Radio 5 live during the first half.

The increasing number of Mexican waves performed during the first half summed it up, really.

The Netherlands created an opening in first-half injury time but Vivianne Miedema’s touch let her down in the box and the ball was eventually cleared.

Netherlands v Sweden: Semi Final - 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France

It may not have been a great spectacle, but those who admire good defending would have enjoyed it.

“I haven't seen sound defending all tournament,” former US goalkeeper and World Cup winner Hope Solo said on BBC One.

“Maybe we need more flashiness but this is the type of defending which will win you tournaments.”

The Netherlands were forced into making a substitute at half-time, with Lieke Martens, who has been struggling with a toe injury, replaced by Jill Roord.

Sweden came closest to opening the scoring in the 56th minute when Van Veenendaal produced a brilliant fingertip save to push Nilla Fischer’s effort onto the post.


It may well have been the save of the tournament.

But minutes later, Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl came up with her own impressive save.

Lindahl leapt to tip Miedema’s header onto the crossbar to deny the Arsenal striker her fourth goal at the tournament.

Shanice van de Sanden came on for the Netherlands and her pace was immediately noticeable. The Lille attacker, playing in her home stadium, led a swift counter-attack that resulted in a corner.

Van de Sanden then saw a rasping effort saved in injury time as the semi-final went to extra-time.

Netherlands v Sweden: Semi Final - 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France

But the Netherlands did get their goal and it came through Jackie Groenen.

The Manchester United midfielder smashed home a fine effort from 20 yards out to give the Netherlands the lead.

Netherlands v Sweden: Semi Final - 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France

Sarina Wiegman's side held on to the advantage and they will now face the United States in the final.

It remains to be seen how the extra minutes will affect the Netherlands in the final, which will be played in Lyon on Sunday afternoon. 

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