Netherlands v Canada | Group Stage 2019
A worthwhile win for the Netherlands that finished as worthy champions of Group E. Nothing was in the first half of the teams but the Netherlands always appeared a little more hazardous and that is clear when they achieved two good half attempts from one hand to another in the 182nd global objective by Christine Sinclair. Now in the last 16, Japan is waiting.
“First of all, I’m very pleased with the victory. We played against a stronger opponent, very structured, and it was a different challenge to the one we faced against Cameroon. But we played well as a team, adapted well, and the performance was great. In 2019, Canada had conceded just one goal before today. So to score two goals in one game is fantastic. Now I hope we’ll play well against Japan too. We played against them in the last 16 four years ago and know what they’re all about. They’re a very disciplined team and we expect the same again. But the Dutch team has made great strides since then.”
Sarina Wiegman, Netherlands coach
There was enormous drama as the 95th minute contestant from Cameroon was to plunge New Zealand into the 16th round and get Argentina out of the run.
“We played a team that was prepared and unafraid and they stepped forward and were very aggressive. We lost the ball too often, too early and were a bit stretched at times. And against good times, if you give them an inch, they’ll take a yard. We were a bit tighter in the second half but they took advantage well of the gaps we did leave. But we won’t mind playing anyone in this tournament. If we play to our best, we can beat anyone. I can’t even remember how long it is since we last lost a match and it’s a really bad feeling, I can tell you.”
Kenneth Heiner-Moller, Canada coach
To lead the band, Canada required a victory and started the match in momentum. However, as European Champions, the Dutch team instantly rallied its name. The Midfield of Canada discovered it highly difficult to move and even maintain ownership across the Dutch defensive lines. The players in Canada were sometimes clearly disappointed. But the drop has to be passed and the 16th round concentrated.
“If there’s anything this team has shown, it’s that we learn very quickly. You look at the last two Olympics and when we’ve had bad results, we’ve bounced back very quickly. I’ve no doubts that we’ll be super-prepared for our opponents in the next round. This was definitely a step-up in quality and a wake-up call for us. It took us a while to get into the game and that can’t happen against the best teams.”
Christine Sinclair, Player of the Match
Was it the incredible soccer the Dutch knew they can play, but hadn’t shown at the FIFA World Cup yet this year? Occasionally. Was the way they performed at one of their two previous group matches much better? Comprehensively. But today’s 2-1 victory over Canada and the top E will make the Oranjeleeuwinnen the most significant pick-up. Their trust is gaining momentum with nine points from three matches!
Image: Kane Oosty/FIFA