Euro 2022: The French will face the European champions Netherlands in the quarter-finals
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Euro 2022: The French will face the European champions Netherlands in the quarter-finals

Perhaps this was not the scenario that the France team dreamed of. Without Marie Antoinette Catuto, who had to lose after a knee injury, Les Bleues will have to cross swords with the Netherlands, the cup holders, from the quarter-finals of Euro 2022. July 17, before winning thanks to three goals in the last minutes (4-1). This success guarantees them a second place in Group C after Sweden, which in turn beat Portugal (5-0) to take first place thanks to a better goal difference.

Finally, the logic is respected. The Netherlands and Sweden were expected to be the favorites for this group and retained their positions. The Swedes did not go into detail against the surprising Portuguese. Colleagues of Filippa Angeldahl, the author of the duo, already advanced 3-0 at rest and did not leave any chance for their opponent, who managed to return with two goals in the first two days.

In the Netherlands, they had more difficulty measuring the event. Timur in the first period, and even frankly dominated with envy, the defending champion ended with a very good result. Clinging to the break (0-0), they found the error only with a blow of fate, with an own goal from Anna Maria Kronogorsevich (1-0, 48th place), the most participating player and best scorer in the history of the Swiss national team. . This advantage did not last long, as the Swiss managed to equalize by step, logically, thanks to a gentle team move that Geraldine Rutler wrapped up.

As happened in 2017 against France, Al Nati believed they could create a surprise and topple the existing system. She even had the opportunity to take the lead with a double chance from midfielder Kumba Sue. But for her lack of opportunism, Dutch substitute Romi Leuchter punished her at the front. The young striker from Ajax Amsterdam forced the decision (2-1, 83) into a bad exit from goalkeeper Gael Tahlmann, Imperial until then. Leuchter did it again at the start of extra time for the 4-1 goal, while Victoria Belova had already added to the score with a big push from the VAR, who intervened for seven minutes long.

This race at the end of the match allowed us for some time to imagine the amazing scenario of the Dutch ladies being able to reclaim the lead of the group. But these last ten wild minutes do not completely remove the impression that this team did not reach the level that allowed it to rise to the top of the continent in 2017, or in the final of the World Cup 2019.

However, the Netherlands can count on superstar Vivian Miedema, who is absent due to Covid-19, returning on Sunday. The Arsenal striker will be the main danger to the French team in the quarter-finals. In their misfortune of being drawn, the Blues can console themselves by saying that perhaps there was worse timing to take on one of the competition’s scarecrows, far from running at full speed.


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