Netherlands defeated Portugal 1-0 in the FIFA Women’s World Cup match.
Stefanie van der Gragt scored the winning goal with a powerful header.
Netherlands sits second in Group E behind the USA on goal differential.
The Netherlands defeated Portugal 1-0 in Dunedin thanks to a goal from Stefanie van der Gragt in the first half.
Referee Kateryna Monzul first disallowed Van der Gragt’s forceful header, but the video assistant referee persuaded her to reconsider.
Portugal’s lone shot on goal came in the 82nd minute, but it did not threaten the Netherlands’ defense.
The Netherlands now sit second in Group E behind the USA, the current world champions, on goal differential.
Lineth Beerensteyn’s dipping effort was deflected off Carole Costa’s boot and out for a corner, giving the Netherlands the first opportunity despite early pressure from a hard-pressing Portugal.
Sherida Spitse, the captain of the Netherlands, delivered the corner to the back post, where Van der Gragt towered above Tatiana Pinto and headed the ball across goal and into the bottom right corner.
The whistle of Monzul, who initially believed Jill Roord had interfered with Portugal goalkeeper Ines Pereira before changing her mind after viewing the replay on the pitch-side monitor, ended the Netherlands’ jubilation.
Roord nearly converted another Spitse corner with an unopposed close-range header, but she misjudged it and it went over the crossbar.
While Portugal provided virtually little in the way of goal attempts despite glimpses of promise from Jessica Silva, the Netherlands dominated possession and continued to appear dangerous from set pieces.
Early in the second half, Danielle van de Donk and Beerensteyn forced saves from Pereira before Portugal upped their ante and advanced farther into the final third.
Prior to Telma Encarnacao’s late cut inside and shot directly at goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar, Francisco Neto’s team struggled to create any clear chances.
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