Italy vs Netherlands, Saturday’s match for the Quarter-final of the Women’s World Cup at the Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes, France.
The Italians, beating China 2-0 on Tuesday, June 25, and securing their place in the quarter-finals achieved the team’s biggest result at a World Cup. It is the consolidation of a process of approximately a decade of investment in the modality in the country and the result of the possibility of counting on practically all the called players working in Italy.
The solid and strong base of Juventus has served to offer a pattern of safe game to the team, that did not find great difficulties before the Chinese. Just after 15 minutes of the initial stage, Valentina Giacinti opened the scoring. In the final stage, Aurora Galli, at four minutes, completed.
From then on the defensive force was displayed. Despite Chinese pressure, which resulted in 20 finals attempts throughout the game, only five of them went in the direction of the Italian goal. Six of those raids ended up being blocked ensuring the tranquility of goalkeeper Laura Giuliani, who had only one try in four matches in the World Cup.
The Dutch classification was much more dramatic. It happened thanks to the penalty shot converted by Lieke Martens in the 45 minutes of the second half. The goal ensured a 2-1 win over Japan in the last 16 in a game that also took place on Tuesday, June 25.
The Dutch team had taken the lead just 17 minutes from the start, when they also reached Lieke Martens. But the Japanese equalized at 43 minutes through Hasegawa.
The meeting was balanced. Despite the superiority of the European team in possession of the ball (55%), the number of attempts to finalize was equal (12) and the Netherlands put another shot on goal (5 to 4). It was precisely the decisive one.
They retained their 100 per cent advantage in the first round with wins against Canada (2-1), Cameroon (3-1) and New Zealand (1-0). It also extended the series of successes started in April in preparation for the Women’s World Cup. Now the team has seven wins in a row.
The Dutch showed a little more technical quality compared to the Italians in the first four matches of the World Cup. However, the Azurra is stronger collectively. This balance makes the prognosis in the equality is the best option of guess for the meeting of Saturday by the quarterfinals of the World Cup of France of Women’s Football.