2019 Women's World Cup: The Netherlands land in semis with Italy win

Author: Rosalind K. Amoh
Vintage Netherlands in the semi-finals of the 2019 Women's World Cup
Vintage Netherlands in the semi-finals of the 2019 Women's World Cup

European women's champions, The Netherlands are through to the semi-finals of the Women's World Cup (WWC) after beating Italy 2-0 in their quarter-finals encounter on Saturday.

Stunning headers, 10 minutes apart from Vivianne Miedema (70th) and Stefanie  van der Gragt (80th), handed the European queens their first semi-final berth in their second apearance at the WWC and now, the Oranje (Orange) or Leeuwinnen (Lionesses) can dream of being world champions on their second attempt.

They will face Sweden in an all European semi-finals clash on Wednesday, July 3.

The Dutch through to the semi-finals of the Women's World Cup on just their second appearance

Le Azzurre having held the Orange ladies to a goalless draw in the opening game, missing a couple of chances themselves, had hoped to take their chances in the second half, but tactical changes from the Dutch bench, brought some more bite in their attack which eventually paid off.

Crowned European champions at the 2017 tournament, The Netherlands have remained consistent and impressed on their second WWC appearance, having made their debut at Canada 2015.

Vivianne Miedema scored her third goal to put the Dutch through

Right from their Group E campaign, the Dutch showed they had come to France to make an impact, beating New Zealand (1-0), Cameroun (3-1) and Canada (1-0) to top the group.

At the Round of 16 stage, they recorded another 2-1 win over 2011 champions and 2015 runners-up, Japan to set up the quarter-finals date with Italy.

While Miedema leads the team's top scorers with three goals, Martens has two goals. Five other Dutch players have also scored a goal each.

Stefanie  van der Gragt's header on the 80th minute sealed victory against Italy

Having reached the semi-finals, the Orange Ladies will be keen to also try to add the WWC title to their collection despite their relatively young presence in the women's game.

By reaching the semi-finals, the Dutch have also qualified for the 2020 Olympics and will thus join England and Sweden as Europe's three representatives for the Tokyo Games.