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Women's World Cup: Netherlands storm into quarters

Women's World Cup: Netherlands storm into quarters

Jill Roord scored her fourth goal of the tournament as the Netherlands defeated South Africa 2-0 at Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday to advance to the Women's World Cup quarterfinals.

Roord's header gave her team an early lead, while Lineth Beerensteyn scored a second goal in the second half thanks to a goalkeeping blunder, securing the Dutch a rendezvous with Spain in Wellington on Friday.

The 54th-ranked African champions never gave up the fight in their maiden appearance in the World Cup knockout round, and their lone attacker Thembi Kgatlana was always a threat on the break.

However, Dutch keeper Daphne van Domselaar proved equal to everything Banyana Banyana threw at her, as the 2019 finalists advanced to the tournament's last eight for the second time.

"I'm very happy with a good win against a tough opponent," stated Andries Jonker, coach of the Netherlands. "However, the part of me that wants great football is disappointed with the first half, in which we gave the ball away too much."

The noon start - primetime in the United States - seemed ideal for the reigning champion Americans, but they were whisked away to Melbourne to face Sweden later that day after the Netherlands thrashed Vietnam 7-0 to win Group E.

The Dutch got off to a good start, grabbing the lead in the ninth minute on a corner when Danielle van de Donk headed the ball towards goal and defender Lebohang Ramalepe stepped in the way of custodian Kaylin Swart, setting up Roord for a straightforward finish.

Banyana Banyana promptly reacted, striker Thembi Kgatlana's wonderful first touch on a through ball affording her room to fire a shot that caused Van Domselaar to save.Kgatlana was a continual reminder to the Dutch not to be complacent.

She had three shots in the 10 minutes before halftime that taxed Van Domselaar, who also had to be at her best to stop a piledriver from Kholosa Biyana in stoppage time.

Lieke Martens' goal was disallowed for offside ten minutes into the second half, but the Dutch doubled their lead in the 68th minute.

Swart looked to have everything under control until Beerensteyn was passed through and fired over her. Swart bungled her catch and saw the ball squirt into the goal.

South Africa responded to surrendering another goal, but Van Domselaar was up to the task, going down low to deflect Linda Motlhalo's low drive around the post five minutes later.

Banyana Banyana had one more chance in stoppage time, very certainly through Kgatlana, but there was no way past Van Domselaar.

"We talked about needing to score more goals yesterday, and we had opportunities, especially in the first half," South Africa coach Desiree Ellis said.

"I'm just proud, disappointed, of course, but really proud of this group of players."