SHEFFIELD, England (AP)Defending champion the Netherlands needed a late surge to beat Switzerland 4-1 and guarantee a place in the European Championship quarterfinals on Sunday, while Sweden qualified with ease in a 5-0 win over Portugal.
Still missing star forward Vivianne Miedema, who tested positive for the coronavirus, the Dutch team was held at 1-1 until the 84th minute when Romee Leuchter sent a looping header high over onrushing goalkeeper Gaelle Thalman, who had made a string of impressive saves up to that point.
Victoria Pelova made it 3-1 in the 89th minute – but only after a long VAR check for offside – and Leuchter got her second and the team’s fourth in added time.
Needing a draw to qualify, the Dutch performance was less convincing than the eventual three-goal margin suggested. It wasn’t enough to secure first place in Group C – which went to Sweden – so the Netherlands must next face France in the quarterfinals.
For most of the game it resembled a repeat of the tight 3-2 win over Portugal on Wednesday, when the Dutch struggled to keep control of a game they were clear favorites to win.
After a goalless first half notable mostly for video review overturning a penalty for the Netherlands, the Dutch team took the lead in the 49th minute when Swiss midfielder Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic tried to head the ball off the line but instead deflected it into her own net. The Swiss response was almost immediate, Geraldine Reuteler scoring off a pass from Ramona Bachmann.
The Swiss could have qualified with an upset win and nearly took the lead soon after Reuteler’s goal, but Coumba Sow fired one shot at the goalkeeper and then a second attempt against the post.
Sweden qualified top of the group after two goals just before halftime took the fight out of Portugal.
Filippa Angeldal opened the scoring in the 21st and made it 2-0 in the 45th before an own-goal for the third as the ball deflected in off Carole Costa’s head at a corner.
Captain Kosovare Asllani scored a 54th-minute penalty and Stina Blackstenius further extended Sweden’s lead in stoppage time.
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