FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023: Netherlands 1 – 0 Portugal

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023: Netherlands 1 – 0 Portugal. Stefanie van der Gragt’s first-half goal gave the Netherlands a 1-0 victory over Fifa Women’s World Cup debutants Portugal in Dunedin.

Van der Gragt’s powerful header was ruled out by referee Kateryna Monzul before the video assistant referee encouraged her to review her decision.

Portugal failed to trouble the Netherlands defence, registering their only shot on target in the 82nd minute.

The win moved the Netherlands second in Group E, below reigning world champions USA on goal difference.

Despite coming under pressure from a high-pressing Portugal early on, it was the Netherlands with the first opportunity as Lineth Beerensteyn’s sliding strike was deflected off the boot of Carole Costa and out for a corner.

That corner proved to be the game’s decisive moment as it was whipped in by Netherlands captain Sherida Spitse to the back post, where Van der Gragt towered over Tatiana Pinto to head the ball down across goal and into the bottom right-hand corner.

The Netherlands’ celebrations were cut short by the whistle of Monzul, who thought Jill Roord had interfered with Portugal goalkeeper Ines Pereira before reversing her decision when she reviewed the replay on the pitch-side monitor.

Roord nearly put away another Spitse corner with an unchallenged header from close range, but she directed it over the crossbar.

While the Netherlands dominated possession and continued to look dangerous from set-pieces, Portugal, despite glimmers of promise from Jessica Silva, offered very little in front of goal.

Danielle van de Donk and Beerensteyn forced saves from Pereira early in the second half before Portugal increased their intensity and pushed further into the final third.

However, Francisco Neto’s side could not manufacture any clear chances until Telma Encarnacao cut inside from the right and fired straight at goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar late on.

source – BBC

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