Orange win in Utrecht

The Galgenwaard held a party for the Orange women as The Netherlands took a big step towards the World Cup Finals

23750 , a record attendance for a European World Cup Play-off game attended the Galgenwaard to watch the Dutch women’s team take a giant step towards the World Cup finals next year in France.

The Dutch team won 3-0 against. Switzerland in their first leg game.

The return will be in Shaffhausen on Tuesday.

The match was played in an exuberant atmosphere at the Galgenwaard. With thousands of young football supporting girls in the stands, cheering and screaming on their team. With every successful move by a Dutch player, the noise became even louder as the supporters found it hard to control their enthusiasm.

The game remained scoreless for a long time. The Orange were the top team for the most part but missed many early chances despite their dominance. It was only in the 49th minute when the deadlock was broken with a measured free kick taken and scored by Sherida Spitse. In the 72nd minute, they moved into a 2-0 lead after a well-placed shot by Lieke Martens. Vivianne Miedema completed the party with her 52nd goal in 67 international matches and wrapped up the game seven minutes later, when she shot from close in. The final score of 3-0, whilst not being unreachable for Switzerland more than gives the Dutch hope of going through.

The team is relatively young but already full of experience – in Utrecht, players with a total of 837 international caps kicked off, with Sherida Spitse getting ever closer to the  154th international record cap holder Annemiek Kiesel-Griffioen. The players are used to the thrill of an all or nothing match and their experience was one of the reasons for this eventually comfortable win. It will be exciting to see what the Orange can do this Summer against the world’s best like Japan, the US, France or Germany. But first they must avoid a heavy defeat in Schaffhausen next week.

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Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.

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