Of course any comparison is flawed. On 7 July last year, women soccer in the Netherlands and the USA played in front of 57,900 spectators in Lyon and the world title was on the line. On Friday evening, the two countries met again, in an empty stadium in Breda with the ideals honored as the highest prize.
Basically, the Netherlands and the United States considered the match a measuring moment. How are we in a direct duel with one of the world’s first four opponents? For the United States (number one), the Breda friendly was the first in 261 days. The Netherlands (fourth seed) only recently played against low-level players such as Russia, Estonia and Kosovo.
Sarina Wegman had to be absent. The Dutch national team coach left the training camp in Zeest in the afternoon due to family circumstances. Arjan Ferenc took her place. There was also a new face in the American bunker. Macedonian-born Flatko Andonovsky succeeded Gil Ellis after the World Cup, who surrendered after two world titles and 132 matches.
Andonovsky started with nine men who were also in the starting line-up during the World Cup Final, which the United States won 2-0. Only forwards Alex Morgan (on the sofa) and Megan Rapinoe (unavailable) were missing. There have been more booms in the Netherlands. Desiree van Launteren retired after the World Cup and Vivienne Miedema, Stephanie van der Graght and Anouk Decker were unable to take action due to injuries.
Kneel for BLM
After the National Anthem, where nine American players kneel in protest of police brutality against the black population, and a minute of silence for Diego Maradona, a match arose comparing to the World Cup Final. Just as in Lyon, America dominated and the Netherlands only slowly emerged.
However, it took just before halftime for American dominance to be expressed in the result. After a goal was falsely rejected by Lyn Williams for alleged offside, Rose Lavell, who also scored for Lyon, put the ball into the top corner with a sweet spout (0-1). In the second half, in which the Netherlands failed again to create a single opportunity, substitute Christy Moyes scored 0-2.
After their first defeat since the World Cup Final, the Netherlands will conclude the year on Tuesday in Breda with the last European Championship qualifying match against Kosovo. After that, the focus will be entirely on the Tokyo Olympics, although preparations have yet to be fully determined. In the next three international matches, in February, April and June, there will be training, but who has not been identified against them yet.
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