Two goals from Karin Stevens took the Netherlands to their first major female finals with victory in their UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ play-off against Spain.
Stevens scored in the 2-0 win in Spain on Saturday that had left the Netherlands in a great position and she struck either side of half-time in Volendam tonight. The Netherlands will now enter the finals draw on 18 November and compete in Finland from 23 August until 10 September 2009.
Home coach Vera Pauw kept faith with the team that started in Spain while Ignacio Quereda brought in Laura del Río, Sonia Bermudez and María Paz in a reshuffle that led to his side dominating possession early on. The Netherlands withstood that and soon were finding striker Karin Stevens with long balls, supported by Sylvia Smit and Kirsten van de Ven. Just before the half-hour, Van de Ven forced an excellent save from Spai goalkeeper Ainhoa Tirapu but in the 37th minute she was beaten as a Smit free-kick from the right was turned in by Stevens.
Spain now needed to score three times and that number increased to four eleven minutes into the second half. Dyanne Bito advanced down the right wing and crossed for Stevens to shoot in. The visitors did not give up hope but the Netherlands held out.