Are the lionesses ready to lose to China to outperform the Americans in the quarter-finals?
It is not in the nature of a player to lose a match in order to avoid a strong opponent in the next round. Sarina Wegman thinks so, too. However, the women’s national soccer coach also knows that in some cases it can be a scenario to consider. For example, the United States in the quarter-finals of the Olympic tournament is not likely to face an attractive prospect. “You’d rather come across this country a little later.”
After the 3-3 match against Brazil on Saturday, the most likely scenario is for the Dutch team to compete in the quarter-finals against the second seed in Group G. And that would certainly be the United States. The four-time world champion and four-time Olympic champion avenged the defeat to Sweden on Saturday with a 6-1 victory over New Zealand. The Netherlands’ last two matches with the Americans, the World Cup final in Lyon and a training match in Breda, lost 2-0 without any chance.
To avoid the Americans, the Netherlands must not beat China in their last group game in Yokohama on Tuesday. This in itself seems an impossible task. China didn’t get past 4-4 on Saturday against Zambia, which the Netherlands beat on Wednesday 10-3. Additionally, the question is whether it is morally reprehensible not to intentionally win the match. It could damage the reputation of the Dutch team.
On the other hand, it is often said that in the highest sport everything is allowed to achieve the ultimate goal. Weigman kept himself on the plain after his amusing duel with Brazil. “It is always dangerous to do the math,” the national coach said, also noting that the Netherlands qualify with 99.9 percent but is not 100 percent sure of the quarter-finals. And I knew that the Netherlands, second in the group, could meet Great Britain, Canada or Japan. Also three great opponents.
The defense against Brazil was slightly better than against Zambia, but the Netherlands once again conceded three goals, which came from situations to be avoided. Unfortunately, Weigmann mentioned the goals against her, but she also praised the qualities of the Brazilian strikers. Vivian Miedema once again proved her class in the Dutch attack. The striker scored 1-0 and 2-1.
Brazil came to her side twice, through Depenha and through Marta from the penalty spot. Ludmila even made the score 2-3 for the team of Swedish national coach Pia Sundag. She took advantage of an incorrect pass by Annick Nouen. It eventually became 3-3 with a nice free kick from Dominic Janssen.
A short time ago, Midema was replaced by a painful groin. She said you don’t have to worry about Tuesday’s match against China. A match the Netherlands must win. Whatever the consequences.
Also read: Three goals against Zambia cast a shadow over Dutch women’s football’s brutal victory over Zambia
The women’s soccer team won their first match of the Olympics against Zambia 10-3. The defensive behavior was alarming.
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