Netherlands 1, New Zealand 0
In no way was it easy, but the Group E favorites, the Netherlands, came through with a vital three points against a resolute New Zealand side to open Day 5 at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Jill Roord delivered the winner for the reigning European champions in the 92nd minute, halfway through the four minutes of second-half stoppage time.
The 22-year-old midfielder has been an afterthought on a stacked Netherlands roster that’s headlined with the likes of Lyon speedster Shanice van de Sanden and Arsenal striker extraordinaire Vivianne Miedema. But the FC Twente talent was the only one who had the finishing touch on Tuesday.
As time wound down, a cross from Merel Van Dongen on the left found Lineth Beerensteyn at the back post, who headed it across the face of goal for Roord. The Dutch hero proceeded to head the chance into the net, saving the Orange Lionesses from a disappointing draw:
It could have been much worse as the underdog New Zealanders had their fair share of chances, getting three shots on target parried away by Sari Van Veenendaal while playing a counter-attacking brand of soccer. They had only 31-percent of the possession while exhibiting an organized defense that proved plenty difficult to break down.
The Netherlands launched 17 shot attempts on New Zealand’s goal, but only three of them managed to get on target.
It was an agonizing 10th loss for New Zealand all-time at the Women’s World Cup, who have now lost more games at the tournament than any other program.
Sweden 2, Chile 0
The United States has an opportunity to exact revenge on Sweden — the team that knocked them out of the quarterfinals at the 2016 Olympics — in the final match of Group F play later on at the World Cup.
On Tuesday, however, it looked as though tournament debutants Chile was going to hold the powerful Swedes to an unlikely draw behind a nearly-immovable defensive wall.
The Chilean tactics almost worked, but an 83rd-minute winner from Kosovare Asllani and a stoppage-time exclamation point from Madelen Janogy lifted Sweden to a 2-0 win.
Despite the loss, Christiane Endler — Chile’s goalkeeper and captain who plays her club soccer with PSG in France — lived up to the label of being one of the best in the world at her position.
The 27-year-old proved to be an invaluable last line of defense for Chile, which was constantly pinned back by the favored and superior Swedes.
Amongst her busy afternoon was a miraculous, sprawling left-handed save off the line on a deflected Sweden header off a corner in the 25th minute. It was the highlight of her busy afternoon that saw her turn away nine Swedish shots, including four in the first half alone.
What began as a matched drenched in sunshine quickly descended into a monsoon in the second, providing another hurdle for the Swedes to deal with as they continue to press for a winner. Severe weather postponed the match in the 72nd minute, causing a nearly hour delay.
Just 11 minutes after the restart, Sweden broke through the Chilean defense and finally found a way past Endler.
A helter-skelter attempt at a clear from the Chileans rewarded the ball to an unmarked Asllani just eight yards in front of Endler’s goal. The star keeper had no chance as the Swedish midfielder roofed her chance off the crossbar and in.
Janogy, in just her fifth international appearance, rocketed a left-footed curler into the top-right corner of Endler’s goal in the 94th minute to put things on ice.