Wigman, 51, will become England’s coach after the Olympics. The current coach of Dutch footballers would love to say goodbye with an Olympic medal. In order to achieve this, “lionesses” in any case have to deal with American football players.
“Now that you mention it, it could really be Sarina’s last,” said Leake-Martins. But we are not interested in that at all. Of course we don’t want that. We’ll make sure we play three more games here. We had a great time together, and we’ll try to finish it as best we can.”
Dutch footballers feel they will finally be able to beat the United States at the Olympics on Friday. Team USA has been unapproachable for years, but it makes a poor impression in Japan. The world champion started the tournament with a heavy defeat against Sweden (0-3).
Lake Martins during a duel with China.
“It’s no longer the undefeated USA that everyone looks to,” Martins says. “We have a lot of respect for them, sure, but we think this is the tournament where we can kick them out. We definitely don’t feel intimidated by them anymore.”
Of the previous ten games, American football players have won eight. Only the first two, in the 90s, went to Holland. Under Weigman’s leadership, the Lionesses played twice against the world number one. He lost the 2019 World Cup final with a score of 2-0 and at the end of last year the Orange lost a training match in Breda with the same numbers.
“They still have a really good team, but it’s different from the World Cup”
“But in this tournament I think they are less exciting than before,” Wegmann added. “They are #1 in the world and they still have a very good team, but it’s different from the World Cup. They seem to be looking a little bit more, it’s all a little more difficult. They scored 4 points in three group games and played a draw in the last game. That’s not how I know them. Their lead is very good. But if you take out the sting, it will be more difficult for them. We have made a specific plan for that.”
The orange scored 7 points in the set and was particularly impressed with the accuracy. Of the 21 goals, Vivian Miedema scored eight. The striker started in the last match against China (8-2) due to minor complaints on the bench, but scored two more goals as a substitute.
“Vivien is fit and can only play,” Wegmann said. “America always wants to eat the opponent’s striker, they can do well. But we think we found something in that. It looks very mysterious, but it’s not a higher math. You’ll see on Friday.”
Against the unprecedented productivity up front, there are already eight goals against. “We find this a lot ourselves. These mistakes have to go.”
No feelings of revenge
Weigman does not feel vengeance for losing the World Cup final. “We did really well then, until the penalty came an hour later. It’s now been two years and we are one step further with the team. This is the time we can beat America, that is how we really feel.” The match begins in Yokohama on Friday at 1 pm Dutch time.
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