Dutch sink Ireland with Miedema masterclass
Thursday, 24 July 2014
Ireland 0-4 Netherlands
Vivianne Miedema struck a superb hat-trick to inspire the Dutch past David Connell's side and into Sunday's final against Spain.
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The Netherlands will face Spain in Sunday's final after a dazzling display from three-goal Vivianne Miedema helped them defeat the Republic of Ireland 4-0.
• Finals top scorer Miedema scores fine hat-trick
• Kuijpers gets the other Netherlands goal
• Ireland, who won three group games, bow out
• Dutch through to first final against Spain on Sunday
In their first finals campaign, Ireland came into the game with a 100% record but they were no match for a dominant Dutch side. It took them only five minutes to open the scoring, when Miedema put them ahead from close range after Brooke Dunne had brilliantly saved her first effort – the dye was cast.
Jeslynn Kuijpers doubled their lead with a fine first-time finish off the post following more good work from Miedema, and the Netherlands No9 continued her assault after the restart. First, Kuijpers returned the compliment with a perfectly-timed cross as the FC Bayern München forward made it 3-0 from close range.
That goal effectively ended the match as a contest, but there was still plenty of time for Miedema to complete a perfect evening for herself and her country. With the Ireland defence creaking, the hat-trick arrived on 55 minutes when she latched onto a bouncing ball inside the penalty area to send the Netherlands marching into Sunday's final.
André Koolhof, Netherlands coach
It's nice to sit down as I haven't done much of that today. I always have to be on my feet because I have to feel the match as a player. I just love it. I'm incredibly proud of the achievement but also with the way we played – it was near perfection. We scored some beautiful goals and it was a complete team effort but of course it's great to have a phenomenon on our side in Miedema. She has a real nose for goal.
We were strong from the first minute until the last. We knew that against Ireland you have to be sharp from the off because the longer it takes to score they get stronger and stronger. You have to prevent them gaining belief – we succeeded because of that early goal. Reaching the final is great but if we don't now win it I'll be disappointed.
David Connell, Ireland manager
We are very disappointed. We were up against a very good side and we have no complaints because they were the best side on the day. It was probably a bridge too far for u but we have done very, very well and I think we have brought a lot to the tournament, on and off the field.
It has been a dream come true for everybody to get this far. There has been great hysteria back in Ireland and we are very, very proud of the girls. I think we have boxed well above our weight over the last few weeks. We beat three great nations. We would like to taste it again. This can only do our girls the world of good. They will want to get back here again because we have got a taste for it now.
[Vivianne Miedema] was very good. She brings an awful lot to their team. But they have got class all over the pitch. Up front, midfield, the goalkeeper was excellent as well. They are a good side and they are going to take a bit of beating. We wish them well.