The Netherlands Is Going to The Women’s World Cup, Finally
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It was always going to be an uphill battle for the Swiss heading into Tuesday's second game of the two-leg playoff to decide which UEFA team would lock up the region’s last spot in the 2019 Women’s World Cup. Switzerland found itself in quite a significant hole after a 3-0 away loss on Thursday and needed to be firing on all cylinders (an off day from its opponent wouldn’t hurt either) to keep its hopes alive.
Despite the challenge ahead, going into Tuesday's match, the Swiss were undoubtedly given a much needed boost, coming in the form of star striker Ramona Bachmann. The Chelsea woman was suspended for the game in the Netherlands on Thursday and has 43 goals in 83 games for the national team.
From the start, it looked as if the scales would perhaps tip in Switzerland’s favor regardless of the odds stacked against it when the Netherland’s was reduced to 10 women early on. Dutch midfielder Anouk Dekker was given a straight red card just seven minutes into the match.
However, try as it might, things just didn’t click in all the magical ways they would have needed to for Switzerland. It was the Netherlands that got on the board first. Arsenal star Vivianne Miedema came up huge in the first game and did the same Tuesday. Miedema got on the end of a ball at the top of the box, took a touch to create space and made no mistake with a low drive past the keeper.
— oranjefanszutphen (@dutchfanzutphen) November 13, 2018
Coumba Sow’s tally in the 71st was too little too late for Switzerland as the game ended in a 1-1 draw. The result means the Dutch qualified, winning on aggregate 4-1. This will be just the second Netherlands Women's World Cup appearance, with its debut coming in the 2015 edition. The more experienced side will be looking to improve on last tournament’s Round-of-16 finish in France this summer.
Switzerland will feel particularly gutted by its failure to qualify. Many expected them to top UEFA Group 2, but a couple of disappointing ties against Poland and a loss against a Cinderella Scotland team saw them fall to second and enter the grueling playoff process. Though they got past the Belgians, the Dutch, the reigning European champions, proved too much for the Swiss to overcome.