Roord breaks New Zealand hearts to hand Dutch victory in stoppage time
Women's World Cup Group E - Le Havre - Netherlands 1 (Roord 90_2') New Zealand 0
A stoppage-time header from Jill Roord handed European champions the Netherlands victory in their opening World Cup match with New Zealand in Group E.
The Netherlands had 16 shots but only three of them found the target, and it was the last of those attempts – a header from Roord – which broke New Zealand hearts.
For all of the Dutch’s dominance it was New Zealand, winless in 12 World Cup games heading into this tournament, who went closest in the first half, hitting the bar through Olivia Chance before Rosie White forced Sari van Veenendaal into a fine stop.
Dominique Bloodworth missed a huge chance for the Netherlands just before the break, and in the second half Vivianne Miedema was denied by the left foot of Erin Nayler.
But at the death, Roord popped up with a valuable winner to move the Dutch alongside Canada at the top of Group E.
Netherlands’ firepower missing its ammo – The build-up was all about how a New Zealand side winless at the World Cup could cope with Miedema and Lieke Martens, but in truth the Dutch duo looked off-colour in Le Havre. Both had attempts but did not do enough to threaten New Zealand’s defence – in the end Roord got them over the line, but coach Sarina Wiegman will know there is plenty of room for improvement.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Rebekah Stott (New Zealand) – The New Zealand deserve huge credit for making this match a tight encounter, and Stott was at the heart of everything the Football Ferns did right in defence. It was ultimately not to be, but time after time Stott was there to clear the danger and frustrate Miedema in particular.
Netherlands: Van Veenendaal 7, Van Lunteren 6, Van der Gragt 6, Bloodworth 5, Van Es 5, Groenen 5, Van de Donk 6, Spitse 6, Van de Sanden 6, Miedema 6, Martens 6. Subs: Van Dongen 6, Roord 7, Beerensteyn N/A.
13’ - SAVE! A nerve-settler for Nayler in the New Zealand goal as she gets down low to keep out Martens' first-time effort.
CHANCE! For Chance! And more than just a chance.... she rattles the woodwork with a terrific shot from distance. Van Veenendaal was nowhere near it but has the crossbar to thank!
34’ - BIG SAVE! New Zealand counter and White takes a touch before striking it while it's still bouncing, and it curves towards the far corner but Van Veenendaal makes a flying save to tip it behind for a corner.
45’ - BIG MISS! The cross comes in from Spitse and Gregorius can only half clear it... a second cross comes in and as Nayler is clattered by her own defender, Bloodworth somehow fires wide!
61’ - JUST WIDE! So, so close... Martens finds Miedema with a through ball, and she fizzes an effort across goal which avoids the post by a whisker.
68’ - HUGE SAVE! The left foot of Nayler denies Miedema at the near post after she looked to have steered a low cross in!
90+2' - HEARTBREAK FOR NEW ZEALAND! Roord nudges the ball over the line and SURELY scores the winning goal for the Dutch.
The Dutch have not conceded a goal in more than six hours of football.