Women's World Cup: Netherlands Enter Knockout Stages

For a team that boasts, on paper at least, the best forward line at the World Cup – the Euro 2017 star Lieke Martens, Arsenal duo Vivianne Miedema and Danielle van de Donk and Lyon’s Shanice van de Sanden – the 3-1 win against Cameroon, who are ranked 46th in the world, should have been less of a labour.

Two goals from Miedema, who became the Netherlands’ all-time top scorer with 60 goals at the age of 22, and one from Dominique Bloodworth, sandwiched a tidy finish from Cameroon’s best player of the tournament, Gabrielle Onguéné, to secure the three points and guarantee progression for the Dutch, but the worries that existed before this match remain.

Though the talismanic forward will draw the plaudits, the Dutch will likely be most pleased with the performance of Groenen – now a Manchester United player – in the middle. She has seemed off colour of late, but was involved in the first two Dutch goals suggesting the midfield my be finding its feet a little, even if the defence is not.

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