Roord heads late Dutch winner to beat brave Kiwis

Netherlands' midfielder Jill Roord. (AFP)
Updated 14 June 2019
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Roord heads late Dutch winner to beat brave Kiwis

LE HAVRE: Jill Roord came off the bench and headed home from close range in added time on Tuesday to give the Netherlands a 1-0 women's World Cup victory over New Zealand in Le Havre.

The victory lifts the European champions into a tie with Canada atop Group E.

“I think we can play better than we did today. But we were looking for a win and New Zealand were looking for a draw, and I'm very glad we finally got what we wanted,” said Dutch coach Sarina Wiegman. “I'm very relieved, of course.”

The Football Ferns, stout in defense and sharp on the counter attack, were left with nothing but disappointment.

“The players will be absolutely devastated but we're a resilient group and I'm pretty confident we'll bounce back,” said New Zealand coach Tom Sermanni.

The stars of a lively match were the two goalkeepers, Sari van Veenendaal for the Netherlands and New Zealand's Erin Nayler. Both were busy and both, at different stages, underwent on-field treatment after brave saves.

The Dutch had almost 70 percent of possession and almost three times as many goal attempts but New Zealand went painfully close three times.

“The Dutch were the dominant team but we created some great chances,” said Sermanni.

In the first half, Olivia Chance hit the bar and Rosie White drew a sprawling save from Van Veenendaal with a long-range strike.

Early in the second half Sarah Gregorius, who is of Dutch descent, shinned a volley into the ground that gave Van Veenendaal time to lunge to her right and claw the ball round the post.

At the other end, center-backs Rebekah Stott and Abby Erceg coped well with the physical presence of Dutch forward Vivianne Miedema and the lively skills of the attackers around her.

When the Dutch did carve a clear chance, they were frustrated either by Nayler or some anxious finishing, until the final moments.

“We found it tough to create openings,” said FIFA's player of the match Lieke Martens. “New Zealand defended well and it was not our best match, that's clear.”

The Dutch swung one more hanging cross to the far post where Lineth Beerensteyn bullied Ali Riley into a tame header back across the goal and Arsenal's Roord guided the ball past the advancing Nayler.

“We can't go away from the game saying we have regrets, we have disappointment,” said Sermanni, who has coached four of the nations in this year's World Cup. “We've got to look at the positive things we did.”


Platini released from custody after police questioning

Updated 4 min 32 sec ago
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Platini released from custody after police questioning

  • French authorities haven’t announced any charges against Platini
  • The authorities also questioned a sport adviser from the previous French president’s administration

PARIS: Former UEFA president Michel Platini was released from custody in the early hours of Wednesday after being questioned as part of a corruption investigation into the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
His communication team said that Platini’s detention ended at 12:30 a.m. local time.
Platini had denied any wrongdoing and French authorities did not announce any charges against the former France and Juventus player.
“It was long, but given the number of questions it could not be different,” Platini said after his release. “They asked me questions about the 2016 Euro, the World Cup in Russia, the World Cup in Qatar, the Paris Saint-Germain, FIFA.”
Also questioned Tuesday were Sophie Dion, a sports adviser in former French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s administration, and Claude Gueant, the former secretary general of the Elysee presidential palace under Sarkozy.
Ahead of the FIFA vote, Sarkozy hosted a meeting in November 2010 that brought Platini together with Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, then the crown prince of Qatar and now its ruling emir. Al-Thani also owns the French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain, and Sarkozy frequently attends its games.
Qatar beat the long-favored United States 14 to 8 when FIFA selected the host country for the 2022 World Cup
As head of European soccer’s governing body UEFA, Platini was the continent’s top representative on the FIFA committee that picked Qatar.
French prosecutors are known to be investigating an array of winning bids for major sports events, including the 2018 World Cup, awarded to Russia, the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and track and field world championships.

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READ MORE: TIMELINE: The trail of corruption allegations surrounding the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

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