WELLINGTON (Reuters) – There were no cheers in the Netherlands’ locker room, just a quiet sense of satisfaction after holding the United States to a hard-fought 1-1 draw in a group stage match at the Women’s World Cup on Thursday, coach Andries Jonker said.
The Netherlands were out for revenge after the Americans denied them the trophy in 2019 and had wanted the outright win against the four-times champions, who also ended their Olympic run two years ago in the quarter-final.
“There were no cheering players – they were content though,” Jonker told reporters via a translator. “They were content about what they were able to show at different stages.”
A fine shot from midfielder Jill Roord in the 17th minute put the Netherlands on the board, bringing cheers from their orange-clad fans packing the stands at Wellington Regional Stadium.
But momentum shifted after the second-half equaliser from U.S. captain Lindsey Horan, as the Netherlands’ early attacking power lost its potency and the Americans piled on the pressure.
“You play against America, they’re going to press, they’re going to chase to score a goal,” said Roord. “So I think it’s a bit natural that the game changed a bit. We tried to keep playing like we did the first half but that was difficult.”
The 2017 European Champions were already without their all-time top scorer Vivianne Miedema, who missed the tournament due to injury, and had to do without striker Lineth Beerensteyn as well after she was injured in their opening win over Portugal.
“We’re definitely not unhappy – I think we did a good game,” said Roord. “There were phases that we controlled and there were phases that they controlled so in the end I think 1-1 is a fair result.”
The Netherlands are all but assured safe passage to the knockout stages with their final match of Group E set for Tuesday against tournament debutants Vietnam.