Painful loss for women Orange against Austria in deserted Maltese stadium
The Dutch women have lost the practice match against Austria (2-1) during the training camp in Malta. During the training camp, the Dutch are preparing for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Because the stadium on Malta was suffering from the aftermath of storm damage, the players of national coach Andries Jonker had to move to the mini-island of Gozo. The ambiance in the small stadium of Xewkija was best described as desolate. There was no one in the stands.
Jonker reverted to the familiar 4-3-3 system after experimenting with a 5-3-2 formation in the previous three practice internationals. The coach stressed in the run-up to the game that the time of trying out and giving players chances is over.
Martens breaks the spell
With premier league leading scorer Fenna Kalma in place of the injured Vivianne Miedema and Esmee Brugts, who usually plays as a wing attacker, at left back, the Netherlands started the match. There was an early chance for Austria, but after that the Netherlands clearly had the initiative.
After eighteen minutes, it was Lieke Martens who scored the 1-0 with a well-aimed shot, she curled the ball beautifully into the top corner on a pass from Danielle van de Donk. There were also opportunities for Kalma and Van de Donk, but Austria’s goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger got in the way both times.
In the second half, the Netherlands was initially the better team, without raining chances. After an hour of play, Andries Jonker made three substitutions. Lynn Wilms, Sherida Spitse and Anniek Nouwen came into the team for Damaris Egurrola, Stefanie van der Gragt and Esmee Brugts.
Spitse was close to making it 2-0 shortly after her entrance. But her volley from about 20 meters was beautifully tapped over the crossbar by goalkeeper Zinsberger. After 67 minutes, there was also a great chance for Lieke Martens, but her shot went high over.
The players traveled to Gozo by boat before the match:
Dutch soccer players by boat to Maltese island of Gozo for practice match
In the search for a goal scorer to take Miedema’s place, Lineth Beerensteyn was also given another chance to make her mark, relieving Kalma fifteen minutes before time. But the Juventus player was unable to distinguish herself.
Austria did score, five minutes before time Eileen Campbell was allowed to go alone to goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar, she passed the goalkeeper in a controlled manner. Shortly before time the Austrian women also scored the winning goal. With a beautiful long-distance shot Sarah Zadrazil of Bayern Munich passed Van Domselaar for the second time to complete the disappointment.
The Dutch will play a second practice match during this training camp against Austria, which, by the way, failed to qualify for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The shirts of the players of the Dutch team will be auctioned after the match, the proceeds going to Giro555.