Netherlands pip Denmark 4-2 in UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 final to lift maiden title
Vivianne Miedema scored a brace as Netherlands defeated Denmark 4-2 in a tense UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 final to win their maiden titleUpdated: Aug 06, 2017, 23:32 IST
Striker Vivianne Miedema scored twice on Sunday as the Netherlands beat Denmark 4-2 to win their first ever UEFA Women’s European Championship title and set off a huge party among thousands of orange-clad fans.
The success of the Dutch women’s team at UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 is in stark contrast to the country’s men, who failed to qualify for last year’s European Championship in France and is struggling to reach next year’s World Cup in Russia.
It was a disappointing end to the tournament for Denmark, which knocked out six-time defending champion Germany in the quarterfinals and reached its first final after losing five previous semifinals.
The game started well for the Danes, when striker Nadia Nadim - a former refugee from Afghanistan whose father was killed by the Taliban - converted a sixth-minute penalty after Kika van Es clumsily brought down Sanne Troelsgaard in the area.
The Dutch fans did not have to wait long for their team to draw level.
A long ball by midfielder Jackie Groenen launched right winger Shanice van de Sanden and her low cross was met by Miedema for her third goal in as many matches in the knockout stage of the tournament.
Left winger Lieke Martens, named player of the tournament after the match, put the Dutch ahead in the 28th when she drifted into the center, turned a defender and fired a low shot past goalkeeper Stina Lykke Petersen.
Five minutes later, Denmark was back on terms at 2-2 when captain Pernille Harder overcame the Dutch offside trap and then beat Sari van Veenendaal at her near post with a well-placed shot.
Captain Sherida Spitse restored the Dutch lead after the break with a free kick that rolled wide of the wall and into the corner. Miedema, who had been criticized for not scoring in the group stage, sealed the victory in the 89th with her second goal of the final.
The frenetic match was played in front of a sell-out crowd of more than 28,000 fans, including Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik, at FC Twente’s stadium in the eastern city of Enschede. Also in the crowd was Marco van Basten, the star of the Dutch men’s team that won the 1988 European Championship.