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Netherlands 1-1 Sweden: Roord saves point for holders

Jill Roord's equaliser ensured the Netherlands began their title defence with an exciting Group C draw against Sweden.

Women's EURO highlights: Netherlands 1-1 Sweden

The Netherlands overcame the first-half loss of both a goalkeeper and key defender to come from behind and open their UEFA Women's EURO title defence with a 1-1 Group C draw against Sweden in Sheffield.

Key moments

22' Netherlands keeper Van Veenendaal off injured
36' Andersson strikes for Sweden
52' Roord equalises

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Match in brief: Depleted Dutch hit back

The pre-match scenes were colourful with thousands travelling from both nations and the orange-clad Dutch dancing en masse to the stadium just as prior to their triumphant games at home five years ago. However, there was an early blow for the holders when goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal was hurt in a collision with colleague Stefanie van der Gragt, meaning an unexpected second senior cap and competitive debut for Daphne van Domselaar.

Sweden celebrate the opener
Sweden celebrate the openerGetty Images

The substitute was beaten in the 36th minute when Kosovare Asllani sent in a ball from the right that fell nicely for Jonna Andersson, unmarked, to turn in. At the other end Lieke Martens immediately forced Hedvig Lindahl to save but things got worse for the Netherlands when defender Aniek Nouwen was also forced off by injury.

A first-ever loss for the holders in an opening game of a Women's EURO defence since the group stage was introduced in 1997 seemed on the cards. However, early in the second half Jill Roord, fresh from a prolific season for both Wolfsburg and the Netherlands, pounced to level after a Vivianne Miedema pass was deflected into her path.

Sweden sent on key striker, and Miedema's Arsenal attacking partner, Stina Blackstenius, who had been unable to start following a recent injury. But Miedema's link-up with previous Gunners team-mate Roord nearly bore fruit again, only a superb Magdalena Eriksson sliding tackle denying Roord. The closing stages were thrilling, Van Domselaar making a superb diving save from Fridolina Rolfö, and the noise inside Bramall Lane loud, but the points were shared.

Visa Player of the Match: Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands)

Player Of The Match: Vivianne Miedema

"She showed excellent centre-forward play throughout and was the focal point of the Netherlands' attacks. She linked up well with the wide forwards and her team-mates in midfield, and delivered very good passes and plenty of classy touches."
UEFA Technical Observer panel

Derek Brookman, Netherlands reporter

A richly deserved point for Mark Parsons's side after a much-improved second-half showing. Just like Sweden in the first half, most of the danger from the Netherlands came down the left flank, with Miedema in particular full of intelligent, direct running. The improvised Oranje defence also gave a great account of itself. One senses both these teams can go a long way in this tournament.

Netherlands' goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar replaces Sari van Veenendaal
Netherlands' goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar replaces Sari van VeenendaalAFP via Getty Images

Alexandra Jonson, Sweden reporter

For most of the match Sweden were the better side and you often could see the quality that this team possess, especially on the ball. However too many wrong decisions were made in key moments, meaning their game never quite flowed perfectly. Peter Gerhardsson's decision to play three at the back allowed Andersson to be more offensive, ensuring she both scored and almost set up another. A 1-1 draw isn't the end of the world, but Sweden, who have made it clear they are in England to win this tournament, of course wanted victory here tonight. There is no need to worry, though, the quality is there – it's just the small details needed adjusting.


Mark Parsons, Netherlands coach: "The first half was tough but we got some good moments when we played some possession football. It wasn't enough, the spaces were big so it meant Viv [Miedema] and others had to do too much running. I was pretty disappointed with the goal. The second half was better, and there's more to come. 'Not great' is the only thing I can say [about the two injuries]. You've got two players in tears who are very proud of what the team did."

Miedema 'proud' of Dutch response

Vivienne Miedema, Netherlands striker: "What a match. Obviously losing Sari [van Veenendaal] and Aniek [Nouwen] in the first half was a massive blow. At half-time we knew that we could do better, and I'm so proud of the team, how we changed things round for the second half."

Jill Roord, Netherlands striker, speaking to UEFA.com: "Sweden are obviously a very good team, very powerful, and it's tough to play them. In the end 1-1 is okay for us, and also okay for them. [The injuries] were obviously very unexpected. We had to change our goalkeeper, which doesn't happen often. But Daphne [van Domselaar] was amazing, and we did very well as a team too. We didn't change anything, we just kept running hard, and in the second half we played well."

Peter Gerhardsson, Sweden coach: "We forced them to play a lot of long balls, Kosovare [Asllani] did very well in her pressing. And we had just one problem left – Miedema, she is so skilful, we had to double up on her. That was also something we needed three centre-backs for, to keep her back to goal. But you can't keep [a player that good] away for 90 minutes and she did a fantastic thing [to create the equaliser]."

Stina Blackstenius, Sweden striker, speaking to UEFA.com: "There are always nerves when you sit on the bench – probably more than if you are on the pitch. It took some time for us to get into the match, there were a lot of throw-ins and the ball wasn't as much in play as we had hoped. I absolutely hope to start against Switzerland. It felt great that the body felt so good today and now there are four days until the next game so there is time to work on it."

Andersson describes 'amazing' feeling of Sweden strike

Key stats

  • Andersson scored only her third Sweden goal in 71 appearances; her second had come in April against Georgia.
  • The Netherlands keep up the record of the holders never losing their opening game since the group stage was introduced in 1997, and made it three draws in a row after Germany were held 0-0 by Sweden in 2017 and the Netherlands in 2013.
  • With Caroline Seger up against Sherida Spitse, it was the first ever fixture in a UEFA football competition in which two players with over 200 caps have faced off.
  • The crowd of 21,342 is the biggest ever for a Women's EURO match outside the final not involving the hosts – the previous record had been set yesterday at Germany vs Denmark.


Netherlands: Van Veenendaal (Van Domselaar 22); Wilms, Van de Gragt, Nouwen (Olislagers 41), Janssen; Groenen, Van de Donk (Pelova 78), Spitse; Roord (Beerensteyn 78), Miedema, Martens

Sweden: Lindahl; Ilestedt, Björn, Eriksson; Glas, Angeldal (Bennison 71), Seger, Andersson (Rutting Kaneryd 71); Asllani, Hurtig (Blackstenius 70), Rolfö