The Netherlands must tackle France in the Euro 2022 quarter-finals after Sweden denied the defending champions top spot in Group C on Sunday.
Both teams won in their final group games, meaning they finished level on seven points and were separated by goal difference, having drawn when they faced each other earlier in the tournament.
Sweden thumped Portugal 5-0 while the Netherlands were 4-1 winners against Switzerland following a rush of late goals. Sweden finished with a plus-six goal difference, two better than the Netherlands achieved.
It means that five years on from triumphing on home soil, the Dutch must do it the hard way if they are to go deeper into this tournament, with France having caught the eye, particularly in their 5-1 rout of Italy.
France are certain to top Group D, while Sweden await the runner-up from that pool, with Italy, Iceland and Belgium all still in the hunt ahead of Monday’s last round of matches.
Sweden, who sit second in the FIFA rankings, behind only the United States, showed why they should be taken seriously as contenders to win this tournament as they mauled Portugal in Leigh.
Filippa Angeldal scored twice for Sweden in the first half, and a Carole Costa own goal made it 3-0 at the break, before Kosovare Asllani’s penalty and a late fifth from Stina Blackstenius completed the convincing victory. It matched Sweden’s biggest victory at a European Championship.
Captain Asllani said: “We are feeling great. It was our goal to get through the group from the beginning. Today we had to win and we wanted to score as many goals as possible to win the game.”
Quoted on UEFA’s official website, she added: “We have a lot of respect for Portugal, they have developed a lot, but at the same time we just wanted to go all in and be as aggressive as possible in the last third.”
5 & 7 – This was Sweden’s joint-biggest win at the UEFA Women’s Euros, equalling their 5-0 victory over Finland at the 2013 tournament as hosts. They have now reached the knockout stages in all seven editions since the format was introduced in 1997. Brawn. #WEURO2022 pic.twitter.com/iwRDgq3UHj
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 17, 2022
The Netherlands were without star striker Vivianne Miedema for a second successive game after her COVID-19 positive test, but they still got the win against the Swiss at Bramall Lane.
It was a tight game until three late Dutch goals gave the scoreline a lopsided look. An own goal from Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic gave the Netherlands a 49th-minute lead, but Geraldine Reuteler levelled up four minutes later.
The teams remained locked until the 84th minute when Romee Leuchter netted the first of her late double, with Victoria Pelova also scoring in the dying moments.