2023 World Cup quarter-finals: Netherlands – Spain. A great sticker for anyone who loves soccer. Favorite? This is Spain, but the Orange Women have so far played a very strong World Cup tournament that – as they often say – could beat anyone. Here are 11 facts about this World Cup cracker, so you can be optimally prepared.
- 1 | Set the alarm
Yes, here we go again. For the third time during the World Cup, it is important for Orange fans in their country to set the alarm. Or stay up too long. The Orangemen play an early afternoon match in Wellington, New Zealand, where it was ten hours later. Immediately at 13.00 when both teams are at the start of the match. This is the case for those who stay at home in the Netherlands 3 am. Once again the Night Owls for this quarter final. It will of course be broadcast live on NPO1. Preview begins at 2:30 am.
- 2 | Two victories
Should we talk about stats? Just for a moment, because they’re not exactly in favor of Orange. The Netherlands and Spain have played against each other 10 times in the past. The Netherlands have only won twice. Both times in 2008. There was a lot at stake at that time. At that time, the Netherlands qualified for the European Championship for the first time in history through the play-off matches against Spain. Also there at the time was Sherida Spets, a world record. I watched Karen Stephens and Kirsten van de Ven score in Madrid (0-2). Five days later, the Dutch finished with the same numbers in Volendam, where Karen Stephens scored twice.
- 3 | last meeting
In the last meeting, a friendly match in 2021 in preparation for the Olympic Games, the Netherlands fell 1-0. It wasn’t too bad in terms of results, because Orange had nothing to say in Marbella. Goalkeeper Sarri van Vendal kept the team upright, but had no response to a header from Patricia Guigaro in the 31st minute. With just two minutes left, the Orangemen created the only chance of the match through substitute Shanice van de Sanden.
4 | FIFA ranking
Spain currently occupies the sixth position in the FIFA ranking, which is three times higher than the Netherlands. In the World Cup, Spain first defeated Costa Rica (3-0) and Zambia (5-0) in the group stage with big numbers, before defeating Japan in the last group match: 0-4. In the final eight La Roja Again against Switzerland: 5-1.
5 | No Daniel van de Donk
2 yellow cards and then you are automatically banned for the next match. Danielle van de Donk knew it, but couldn’t stop her from picking up her second yellow of the tournament in the Final Eight against South Africa in the 67th minute, with a 1-0 lead. She picked up her first yellow in the opening match against Portugal. So, unfortunately, there is no Van de Donk in midfield this quarter-final. Will Damaris Igorola be her replacement? Or Jill Biggings, or maybe Wake Captain? We’ll have to wait and see.
6 | Damaris Igorola
In any case, it will be a very special afternoon in Wellington for Damaris Igorola. She has a Spanish father from the Basque Country and a mother from Groningen, and played for Spain in her youth and even had a cap in 2019 before moving to Orange in 2022. She now stands in for 20 caps and three caps. During this World Cup, I came on as a substitute in all four matches played. Igorola V said Public Journal.
7 | Spanish past and present; Martens International Match #150
Former Athletic Club player Damaris Igorola is not the only one who knows everything about Spanish football. Lique Martins, who can play her 150th cap against Spain, has witnessed FC Barcelona’s international progress firsthand. She was one of the first foreign stars to join the Catalan club in 2017 and will stay for five seasons. Three national titles and the UEFA Champions League (2021) were the main trophies. Stephanie van der Graagt also played two seasons with FC Barcelona. Meriel van Dongen has been in Spain for five years, playing first for Real Betis and now for Atletico Madrid.
8 | Honor roll
Where Orange has already been European Champion (2017) and Vice World Champion (2019), the Spain women’s national team’s honor roll is still completely empty. Only in the past ten years La Roja Structurally present in the final tournaments. At the 2015 World Cup, the team was already eliminated in the group stage, four years ago the USA was very strong 2-1 in the Final Eight. It seems it’s only a matter of time that a major prize is coming. Especially considering the titles that Spain’s youth teams have been stringing together in recent years. Spain is currently the Under-20 World Champion, Under-19 European Champion and Under-17 European Vice-Champion.
9 | Spanish selection
It was not a quiet moment in the Spain squad last season. In September 2022, no fewer than 15 players indicated that they no longer wished to play under national coach Jorge Vilda and called for his departure. However, the Spanish Federation did not respond to this and remained behind its coach. For this World Cup, so many players have reversed their decision that we see Aitana Bonmati, Una Patel and Alexia Potellas, among others, “only” in this World Cup. This does not apply to Barcelona players Maby Lyon, Patry Guijaro and Claudia Pena, who stood by their decision.
10 | Referee Stephanie Frappart
The quarter-final match in Wellington will be led by head umpire Stephanie Frappart, who is now a well-known name in world football. The 39-year-old Frenchwoman was the first woman to officiate at a men’s World Cup match last year. She also officiated the men’s World Cup qualifying match between the Netherlands and Latvia in 2021. The orange lionesses have known Frappart for longer than today. In 2012 she was in charge of a friendly match in Nîmes. Four years ago I whistled the World Cup final USA-Netherlands (2-0). Officiating in her first youth match at the age of 13, Frappart has been named to three World Cup finals. For group matches Switzerland – Norway (0-0) and Canada – Australia (0-4), and the round of 16 between Sweden and the United States (0-0; Sweden wins on penalties).
11 | top scorers
Gil Roard is the scoring factor for the Orange in this tournament. She has already scored 4 goals in the past 4 matches in the World Cup and is thus second on the list of top scorers. Alexandra Pope (Germany) and Kadidiato Diagne (France) each scored 4 goals. The top scorer is currently Japanese Hinata Miyazawa with 5 goals. On the Spanish side, the trio of Jennifer Hermoso, Alba Redondo and Itana Bonmatti scored three goals.
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