Leeuwinnen prevail to clinch qualification for World Cup with late goal

Vivianne Miedema on the ball against Iceland. Photo: ANP/Pieter Stam de Jonge

The Netherlands women’s football team have qualified for next year’s World Cup thanks to a last-minute win over Iceland.

The Leeuwinnen dominated the final qualifying match, managing 29 shots on goal, but had to wait until the 93rd minute for the breakthrough from Esmee Brugts.

‘On any other day we’d have won by six or seven goals. So it was nice that the ball flew in at the last minute,’ Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema said.

The Dutch needed to win the match to avoid having to qualify through the play-offs for next year’s finals tournament in Australia and New Zealand, which kicks off on July 20.

It was the first competitive match in charge for Andries Jonker, who took over from Mark Parsons after the Englishman led the team to a quarter-final defeat in this summer’s European Championships.

‘On the one hand I was convinced we’d do it. Every attack was a chance,’ said Jonker. ‘On the other hand the ball hit the post or the bar so often.’

The Dutch reached the final of the last World Cup in France three years ago before losing to the United States.

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