Second practice match with Austria in Malta does deliver win for Orange footballers

Second practice match with Austria in Malta does deliver win for Orange footballers

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Second practice match with Austria in Malta does deliver win for Orange footballers

After a defeat in the first practice game four days ago, the Dutch team did manage to win the second friendly against Austria. The Orange triumphed 4-0 in Malta through goals by Lineth Beerensteyn, Lieke Martens and Esmee Brugts.

The team was loudly shouted at by the crew of the Dutch naval vessel Zr.Ms. De Zeven Provinciën, docked in Malta. Yesterday the soccer players and marines met for a team-building activity.

Beerensteyn gets chance

The victory brings the training week for national coach Andries Jonker’s team to an end. In the southern European dwarf state, the Netherlands took the first steps toward the upcoming World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which begins in July.

Lineth Beerensteyn made it 1-0 on behalf of the Netherlands

For Jonker, the trip to Malta was largely dominated by the search for a replacement for Vivianne Miedema. Arsenal’s super striker has torn a cruciate ligament and will have to miss the World Cup with near certainty.

Last Friday, when the Orange thus also practiced against Austria, the choice fell on premier league top scorer Fenna Kalma. This time Beerensteyn was allowed to play from the kickoff. It was the only change in the starting line-up.

Orange celebrates Lieke Martens’ 2-0.

Already after about twelve minutes Beerensteyn showed her qualities as a goal scorer. The Juventus attacker’s opening goal came with the help of Jackie Groenen, who smelled her chance after mediocre defending from the Austrian defense, captured the ball and thus initiated the 1-0.

Martens doubles lead

The Netherlands kept pressure on the Austrians, who did not qualify for the World Cup, in the remainder of the match. In a one-sided first half, that yielded one goal in addition to a number of chances.

Martens took care of that, surprising goalkeeper Isabella Kresche from twenty meters from the Austrian goal with a perfect free kick in the short corner.

Orange players cheer after Beerensteyn made it 3-0

In the first of two practice matches, the Netherlands relinquished control in the second half, only to lose after taking an early lead. This time, the Orange remained the dominant side, except for a few moments in the first 15 minutes after halftime.

A corner by Sherida Spitse, who had come into the lines as a substitute for Damaris Egurrola, resulted in the 3-0 after seventy minutes. A Stefanie van der Gragt effort was tapped onto the post by Kresche, then Beerensteyn struck in the rebound.

Brugts provides final chord

Barely a minute later, it was another hit for the Orange. Victoria Pelova found Beerensteyn, who penetrated the penalty area and enabled Brugts to sign for the fourth Dutch goal.

“We tried to play the 4-3-3 system a certain way. That succeeded in the first game for an hour, but after that it wasn’t convincing enough. In the retake, we showed that we can play good soccer for 90 minutes,” said national coach Jonker. “In that respect I became wiser, also about the composition of the team and about some players. Esmee Brugts is the best example of that.”

Watch reactions from Andries Jonker, Lineth Beerensteyn and Lieke Martens below.

Kayleigh Williams