Netherlands cruises past South Africa, but loses Daniëlle van de Donk to suspension


The Netherlands will face Spain in the quarterinals. (Photo by Maddie Meyer – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Victory came at a cost for the Netherlands in the first round of the knockout stages of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Dutch defeated South Africa 2-0 on Sunday at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium, setting up a showdown with Spain in the quarterfinals. They will have to play that game without star midfielder Daniëlle van de Donk, who picked up her second yellow card of the tournament and will receive an automatic one-game suspension.

Not much went wrong for the Netherlands beyond that yellow card. It struck early with a header from Jill Roord off a corner in the ninth minute.

South Africa got a good chance to equalize in stoppage time in the first half, but Dutch goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar snuffed out an opportunity for Thembi Kgatlana.

The lead grew to two midway through the second when the South African goalkeeper badly misplayed a shot from Lineth Beerensteyn.

Overall, it was a dominant showing from the Netherlands, which lost the 2019 World Cup final to the USWNT in 2019 but won Group E partially thanks to a draw against the Americans. Per Fox, the Orange controlled possession for 72% of the game with a 539-163 advantage in passes. South Africa was actually close in shots (14-11) and shots on target (7-7), but the Dutch had the more promising opportunities.

The quarterfinal match between the Netherlands and Spain, which dominated Switzerland 5-1 on Friday, is scheduled for Thursday at 9 p.m. ET at Wellington Regional Stadium.

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