FIFA Women's World Cup: Netherlands trounces South Africa to earn quarterfinal spottext_fields
Sydney: After overcoming underdog South Africa 2-0 on Sunday at the FIFA Women's World Cup in this city, ninth-ranked Netherlands advanced to the quarterfinals.
In front of 40,000 spectators at Sydney Football Stadium, the Netherlands, who finished second in 2019, scored in each half.
Jill Roord headed into the net early and Lineth Beerensteyn scored in the 68th minute after South Africa goalkeeper Kaylin Swart made a calamitous error, a Xinhua report said.
The Netherlands will next play sixth-ranked Spain, who thrashed Switzerland 5-1 on Saturday to reach their first quarterfinal. They will be without Danielle van de Donk, who picked up her second yellow card of the tournament and will be suspended under the tournament's accumulation rules.
South Africa, ranked 45 places lower than the Netherlands, entered as major underdogs but had ousted Italy 3-2 to win their first-ever World Cup game.
The fast-starting Netherlands, wearing their trademark orange kit, drew first blood when Roord headed home from close range in the ninth minute.
It was the Manchester City midfielder's fourth goal of the tournament and the sixth time the Netherlands had scored within the first 20 minutes.
In their first-ever knockout match, South Africa appeared to be overawed and struggled to gain possession. Their woes compounded when forward Jermaine Seoposenwe suffered an injury although she continued playing for 10 minutes until finally being substituted.
But South Africa impressively hit back with talismanic stand-in captain Thembi Kgatlana menacing up front with four shots on target. But her attempts at an equalizer were continually denied by Netherlands goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar, who produced several outstanding saves.
South Africa was again rocked by injury when Bambanani Mbane was stretchered off the field just before half-time.
The Netherlands thought they had grabbed a stranglehold shortly after the interval when Lieke Martens scored from close range, but it was ruled offside on VAR review.
It wasn't long until they sealed the victory when Swart fumbled Beerensteyn's shot and she slammed the field in frustration after watching the ball tumble into the net.
With inputs from IANS