Netherlands recover to hold Italy
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Netherlands 1-1 Italy
A Dutch women's record crowd of 13,100 saw Vivianne Miedemaensure the second leg on Thursday will begin level.
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The Netherlands and Italy will go into the second leg of their FIFA Women's World Cup play-off final in Verona on Thursday level after a draw in The Hague.
Melania Gabbiadini got Italy an early away goal. But 18-year-old Vivianne Miedema delighted a Dutch women's record crowd of 13,100 with her competition-leading 14th goal of qualifying after the break, and said: "It's a pity they scored an away goal so easily and we did not score more. If we play like we can, we'll beat them."
It was a level start but on 19 minutes the visitors, aiming to match their qualifications of 1991 and 1999, were ahead when Gabbiadini produced an unerring slot after a one-two with captain Patrizia Panico. The Netherlands responded well, Miedema having a header blocked on the line from a Mandy van den Berg corner.
Roger Reijners's side, aming for a maiden World Cup finals, increased the pressure after the break and were rewarded when Miedema turned in a low Manon Melis cross. It would have been more but Miedema had a close-range shot blocked on 84 minutes and Tessel Middag could not turn in the rebound.
UEFA: England, France, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland*, Netherlands or Italy
AFC (5): Australia, China, Japan (holders), South Korea, Thailand*
CAF (3): Cameroon,*, Ivory Coast*, Nigeria
CONCACAF (4): Canada (hosts), Costa Rica*, Mexico, United States
CONMEBOL (2): Brazil, Colombia
CONMBEOL-CONCACAF play-off (1): Ecuador v Trinidad & Tobago (first leg 0-0, return 2 December in Port of Spain)
OFC (1): New Zealand