The challenge for the Netherlands, having thwarted Germany in their opening UEFA Women's EURO 2013 Group B fixture with a battling 0-0 draw, is to start all over again and produce another impressive performance.
That is the view of coach Roger Reijners, who told his players the morning after the night before to wipe their memory banks clear of the Germany game and turn their full attention to tackling Norway in Kalmar. Their opponents also began with a draw – 1-1 against Iceland – and coach Even Pellerud is confident the work they have put in on the training ground over the last two days will pay dividends.
Roger Reijners, Netherlands coach
Of course it's a challenge, not only for the coach but for the team [to forget about the Germany performance], but this side has grown in the last couple of years. They are more mature and they will do this – that's a great thing.
What I said after the game is that they have to enjoy the moment, but it's one evening, one morning. We spoke about it the morning after, but then it's over and the focus is on the next game. The team has understood that and we are busy now with tomorrow's game.
What happened in 2009 [reaching the last four] was very important for the team. I said to them, 'what do we have to do to be even better?' And they gave their answer. We hope to continue that, maybe get the same result as 2009, maybe better.
It's a good time for us to get a first [competitive win] against Norway. That statistic says a lot about them. They are a good, physical team and will be a difficult opponent. They are still a high-class team, 11th in the FIFA rankings, but maybe [recent results] show there are a lot more countries getting to the top and that women's football is changing and becoming more competitive.
Matchday one result
Germany 0-0 Netherlands
Geurts, Bito, Koster, Van den Heiligenberg, Hoogendijk, Van de Ven, Spitse, Melis, Van de Donk, Martens, Slegers.
• Player of the match: Lieke Martens
Every player is fit – all 23 took part in the final training session at the Kalmar Arena.
Even Pellerud, Norway coach
The key to our preparations for this game has been [working on] our final passing and crossing. We have spent the last 24 hours studying our performance against Iceland as well as spending time on the Dutch team. We have talked to the players about this and have worked on it.
Holland played a very strong game against Germany and it is going to be another tough, even match. All the teams in this competition are very evenly matched and that has been reflected in the results in our group. The Dutch play with a lot of enthusiasm and run a lot. Even though physically they could not match Germany, they fought for every ball and won a lot of 50-50 fights. Then, of course, as with all Dutch players, they are very skilful. They have a lot of quality that we need to be aware of.
It's a different test compared to Iceland. The Dutch game is based on playing on the floor, one-v-ones or two-v-one situations. They have fast strikers and some good leadership at the back.
No, I have not had to lift the girls in any specific way. They are experienced and know how to come back from a draw. It was a good game and there was no need for them to lose confidence.
Matchday one result
Norway 1-1 Iceland (Hegland 26; M. Vidarsdóttir 87(pen)
Hjelmseth, Christensen, Stensland (Mykjåland 75), Akerhaugen, Mjelde, Rønning, Gulbrandsen, Hansen (Kaurin 84), Hegland, Isaksen, Hegerberg (Thorsnes 75).
• Player of the match: Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir
There are no new injuries in the squad and Pellerud was happy to report that he will have 23 fit players to select from.
In 17 meetings, Norway have won ten and the Netherlands two with five draws, Norway leading the goal tally 33-7. Both the Dutch wins came in their seven non-competitive games.
Did you know?
Three of the Dutch squad – Anouk Hoogendijk, Manon Melis and Kirsten van den Ven – were in the team beaten by Norway in the 2003 Women's Under-19 Championship in Germany. It was the Netherlands' first female final tournament.
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