The Netherlands beat Portugal for their first victory at Euro 2022

Daniëlle van der Donk scored the winning goal as defending champions Netherlands secured their first European Championship win with a side reduced by illness and injury, beating Portugal 3-2 on Wednesday.

After a first draw with Sweden, the Netherlands were left without Vivianne Miedema after the star striker tested positive for coronavirus. Three other players are either isolated or injured. At the start against Portugal, it didn’t seem to matter.

The Dutch side took a 2-0 lead inside 16 minutes thanks to headers from Damaris Egurrola and Stefanie van der Gragt, who both scored from a corner as Portugal failed to face the Netherlands on set pieces. Van der Gragt paid the price for her goal when she was hit in the face by an opponent’s boot as she dived to head the ball.

Portugal found a way back into the game when Dutch defender Dominique Janssen stumbled Diana Silva and gave away a 38th-minute penalty converted by Carole Costa. It was Silva’s turn to score the second two minutes after the break with a header close to the post.

The Netherlands scored a third goal by Jill Roord shortly after, but it was ruled out after a several-minute video review, only for van der Donk to restore the Dutch lead with a curled shot into the top right corner .

There were signs of relief in a win that leaves the Netherlands level with Sweden on four points at the top of Group C with one game to play. Still, the Netherlands were expected to win more convincingly against Portugal, the second-lowest-ranked team in the tournament, who play as a substitute for suspended Russia.

Earlier, Sweden also picked up their first victory as Hanna Bennison came off the bench to score with a thunderous shot in a 2-1 victory against a Swiss side also affected by the disease.

The determined and well-organized Swiss defense held Sweden at bay until the 52nd minute, when Fridolina Rolfö completed a deft move by the Swedish side through the middle. Switzerland responded immediately with a curled shot from Ramona Bachmann for the equalizer after Swedish keeper Hedvig Lindahl gave the ball away.

Bennison scored the winning goal in the 79th minute with a powerful shot from just outside the penalty area. Sweden put the ball in the net twice late in the game but were offside both times.

Switzerland’s preparations for the game were disrupted when eight players and 11 staff had to be isolated from the rest of the squad on Sunday evening and early Monday morning as a gastrointestinal illness swept through the camp. crew.

Monday’s training session was called off, but coach Nils Nielsen was able to field an almost unchanged starting line-up, with only one affected player, defender Rahel Kiwic, on the bench.

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