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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, July 5, 2019
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Netherlands against USA
in women’s WCup final


An extra-time strike by Jackie Groenen saw the Netherlands edge out Sweden 1-0 in a gruelling women's World Cup semi-final in Lyon on Wednesday, taking the European champions through to this weekend's final against the United States.

After a goalless 90 minutes, midfielder Groenen -- a former judo European Championship bronze medallist as a youth who recently agreed a move to Manchester United -- broke the deadlock in the 99th minute of a tense contest in Lyon, breaking Swedish hearts in the process.

When Danielle van de Donk's pass was touched into her path by Swedish defender Linda Sembrant, Groenen sent a low shot from 20 yards beyond the reach of goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl and into the far corner.

Having knocked out former winners Japan and then Italy in the previous two rounds, the Dutch are now just one game away from adding a first World Cup to the title they won at Euro 2017, a tournament they hosted.

Getting this far is a remarkable achievement for the 'Oranje', who are appearing at just their second World Cup, but they will surely need to improve drastically if they are to stand any chance of defeating the holders.

The USA are through to their third successive World Cup final after edging out England, 2-1.*AFP


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