Netherlands latest European team to advance at Women’s World Cup
Another day, another European team advances in the Women’s World Cup in France.
The Netherlands’ 3-1 win over Cameroon in Valenciennes put the Dutch in position to win Group D, which could mean a date with Japan in the second round. Canada became the first non-Euro nation to move on, blanking New Zealand, 2-0, in Grenoble.
■ Vivianne Miedema scored twice and her Arsenal teammate, Dominique Bloodworth, once for the Dutch. Miedema was in a position for more shots, but her teammates seemed to lose sight of her after her second goal. That probably does not happen when Miedema is teamed with Bethany Mead at Arsenal, judging by Mead’s play with England in the World Cup — Mead’s assist to Jodie Taylor made the difference in the Three Lionesses’ 1-0 win over Argentina Friday.
Miedema now has 60 goals in 78 games for the Dutch.
■ Cameroon went with an attacking lineup, adding former West Virginia striker Michaela Abam up front. But the Indomitable Lions scored only on a long ball from goalkeeper Annette Ngo Ndom to Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene.
■ Shanice van de Sanden assisted on the first Netherlands goal and her strong runs on the right broke down the Cameroon defense. Van de Sanden has been replaced in the second half in both games, but the Dutch do not drop off physically with substitutes Lineth Beerensteyn and Jill Roord, set to team up with Bayern Munich next season.
■ Canada capitalized on the absence of New Zealand right back CJ Bott, who sustained a right arm injury in the 15th minute. Ferns coach Tom Sermanni inserted midfielder Annalie Longo in place of Bott, and the revamped formation seemed secure until Jessie Fleming’s 48th-minute goal.
The Canadians effectively attacked the right side of the New Zealand defense via Janine Beckie and Ashley Lawrence, plus substitute Allysha Chapman.
■ Christine Sinclair, who has 181 career goals, regularly got into position to score, but the second goal was converted by Nichelle Prince on a rebound of a Sinclair shot off the post.
■ Sweden vs. Thailand, Group F, Nice — The Swedes might be tempted to pile it on Thailand in case the group lead comes down to goal difference, though the advantages of earning a top seed seem dubious. Sweden coach Peter Gerhardsson might considering giving a start to Madelen Janogy, who combined as a substitute with Kosovare Asllani to break things open late in a 2-0 win over Chile.
■ United States vs. Chile, Group F, Paris — The opening two games for the US team are essentially warm-ups for the real thing, and this could be another rout for the Americans. But it could take a while to break through Chilean goalkeeper Christiane Endler. The Chileans (0-7-3 since Sept. 11) have followed the example of South American neighbors Argentina, packing it in defensively while they develop their program.