Netherlands 2-0 Poland
The Oranje clinched victory in their final friendly on home soil before UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ kicks off in Finland later this month.
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Netherlands 2-0 Poland
The Netherlands clinched victory over Poland in Tilburg in their final friendly on home soil before their UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ campaign kicks off in Finland later this month.
The Oranje were backed by over 3,000 spectators at the Willem II stadium and they gave their fans something to cheer about with just 20 minutes gone, Manon Melis notching her 20th international strike to put the hosts in front. Substitute Marije Brummel then made certain of the result with an excellent goal after the break, allowing the Dutch to bid farewell to their supporters on a high note.
Vera Pauw's side will contest one final preparation game in Russia on Thursday, but the coach already seems to know her strongest lineup and started FC Twente's Marlous Pieëte on the right wing in place of the injured Sylvia Smit. It was team-mate Melis who broke the deadlock, however, the LdB FC Malmö striker transporting the ball inside from the wing and firing in from just outside the area.
Pauw made a raft of changes after the restart to give some fringe players a chance to shine and it was Brummel who shone brightest, showing her coach her potential with a fine solo effort capped with a lob over the Polish goalkeeper. It was the SC Heerenveen defender's first effort for her country.
Despite the result, Pauw admitted to mixed feelings afterwards. "We only gave away one chance and for the rest of the match our goalkeepers had nothing to do, but we have to be more aggressive in front of goal," she said. "The Poles dug in around their area and after that it often seemed passes weren't reaching their destination. We have to learn to be more aggressive and anticipate better with our passing.
"There was a good crowd in terms of numbers, especially seeing as the school holidays only started in this region two weeks ago," she added. "The support was good. The interest from the fans and press is there; now we have to meet the expectations we ourselves have raised." The Netherlands open UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ against Ukraine in Group A on 23 August and go on to face hosts Finland and Denmark.
Netherlands: Geurts (Dugardein, 46); Bito (Brummel, 46), Koster (Nooy, 46), Meulen (De Boer, 46), Hogewoning (Van Dalen, 46); Hoogendijk (Spitse, 46), Kiesel-Griffioen (De Vries, 46); Van de Ven (Legemate, 46; Slegers, 71), Melis (De Ridder, 46), Pieëte (Van den Heiligenberg, 46); Stevens (Van de Sanden, 46).