Netherlands 3-2 Scotland Vivianne Miedema inspired the Dutch to a 3-0 lead inside 24 minutes but her side were left hanging on amid a fine Scotland comeback.
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Vivianne Miedema marked her return from a groin injury in fine style, scoring twice and forcing an own goal as the Netherlands won – but only after a few scares as Scotland mounted a stirring fightback.
• Miedema scores twice on her return from a groin injury
• With O'Neill own goal Dutch go 3-0 up by 24 minutes
• Miedema withdrawn at half-time
• Janssen own goal and Richardson bring it back to 3-2
• Scotland now need win from last game, Dutch a point
Miedema was a frustrated onlooker as the Netherlands opened their campaign with a 0-0 draw against Norway. She quickly set about making up for lost time in a masterful first-half performance. She soon broke the deadlock, and after forcing an own goal from the unfortunate Rachael O'Neill, she made it 3-0. There were only 24 minutes gone but there was no way back for Scotland – or so everyone thought.
Miedema first. The new FC Bayern München signing had already gone close when, on nine minutes, the forward collected Inessa Kaagman's assist at the second attempt and fired low past Megan Cunningham. Another pass through the middle led to the second, with the goalkeeper saving well but helpless as the ball cannoned into O'Neill. Fiona Brown, stretching on the goal line, could only help it on its way.
The best was yet to come from Meidema, as she turned, cushioned Simone Ket's pass and lost her marker in one movement before side-footing in. By half-time her work was done, withdrawn ahead of Monday's game against Belgium. If the Netherlands thought the Group A spoils were in the bag, though, they were mistaken.
Elizabeth Arnot, excellent on the left flank, had almost pulled one back when her cross-cum-shot rattled the crossbar just before half-time and on 65 minutes her dangerous ball was turned into her own net by Dominique Janssen. Five minutes later substitute Carolina Richardson reacted first in a crowded box to make it 3-2. Tensions mounted in the Dutch defence but they just about held on.
André Koolhof, Netherlands coach
The first half was marvellous. We were playing good football and Miedema – she's a top striker. The team were all good, in fact, she gave them all a lift. We were going up, up, up; then Vivianne went off as we couldn't risk her for longer in that situation. In the second half it was bad defending. It was not that Scotland were better, it was that we were worse. We were 3-0 up, untroubled, and in the end we're hanging on. But overall I'm very happy – we have four points now.
Gareth Evans, Scotland coach
We didn't play very well in the first half and all credit to the Dutch – they did, as the scoreline suggests. We changed our shape and our game plan after the third goal and it seemed to work. In the second half I couldn't have asked for anything more from my players. They did very well and in the end we could have got a draw. I didn't say much to them at half-time – it was all down to them. They played with pride and determination to get back into the game. There's a fantastic team spirit. That third goal just wouldn't come though.