Holders Netherlands fight back for Sweden draw

Netherlands midfielder Jill Roord cancelled out Jonna Andersson’s opener as defending champions Netherlands salvaged a 1-1 draw against Sweden in their heavyweight Group C clash at the women’s European Championship on Saturday.

Both teams started cautiously and a dull first half at Bramall Lane sprung to life when Sweden took a deserved lead in the 35th minute through Andersson who smashed home from close range following some excellent wing play from Kosovare Asllani.

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Lina Hurtig almost got a second with a diving header minutes later before Danielle van de Donk blazed over for the Dutch, capping a miserable half in which they took off goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal and defender Aniek Nouwen due to injury.

Netherlands coach Mark Parsons said afterward that both players had been taken to hospital.

“I’ve just seen them,” he said. “We’ll find out a bit more tomorrow. I just know I’ve got two players who are in tears.”

Netherlands, watched by their men’s team’s head coach Louis van Gaal, flew out of the traps after the break and hit back through Roord in the 52nd minute after she was brilliantly set up by Arsenal forward Vivianne Miedema.

Miedema grew into the game as the half wore on, driving at the Swedish defence with real menace, and nearly played in Roord for the winner but the Wolfsburg player was denied by a superbly timed tackle from Magdalena Eriksson.

“If you look at our first 15-20 minutes, I think we can be extremely proud that we got a point,” Miedema said.

“So pleased. In the first half we had a lot of contact on the pitch. Going in at half-time there was a lot of emotions. You just get together.

“Losing your captain and then your centre-back, you know things are going to change. You know the girls are coming in and need a bit of time.

“It is amazing for the team and will help us going forward.”

Portugal and Switzerland, the other teams in the group, played out a 2-2 draw earlier on Saturday.


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