The race to reach the UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifying play-offs from Group 4 remains finely balanced after the Netherlands were held by Switzerland in The Hague.
Manon Melis's opener for the Netherlands was cancelled out in added time by substitute Désirée Grundbacher to move Switzerland into second place, one point ahead of Belgium and two clear of the Dutch with one fixture remaining. However, after the Netherlands welcome Belgium on 27 September, Switzerland must face group winners Germany on 1 October and look likely to need at least a point to have any chance of going into the play-offs as one of the four best third-place sides; only victory would allow them to finish in second and ensure a two-legged tie.
The Netherlands started well in The Hague with Karin Stevens threatening early although she could not keep her header down with the first presentable chance of the game. The away side then went close from a set-piece before Sylvia Smit was released by Sherida Spitse but did not take advantage in a one-on-one situation. Vera Pauw's home side then took the lead after an hour when Kirsten van de Ven and Smit combined to set up Melis. The Netherlands looked like they would claim three crucial points but Grundbacher equalised after adroitly meeting a pass from deep. Still, a win for the Netherlands against their neighbours next month should take them into the play-offs barring an upset when Switzerland face Germany.