Defending champions the Netherlands hit back to earn a point against Sweden meaning it’s all square in Group C after Portugal recovered to draw 2-2 with Switzerland.
Defending champions the Netherlands overcame a nightmare first half to draw 1-1 with Sweden in their Euro 2022 opener.
Jonna Andersson gave Sweden a half-time lead, with Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal and defender Aniek Nouwen forced off injured, but Jill Roord responded early in the second period and wasted a glorious chance for a winner in the closing stages.
The result – in front of an impressive crowd of 21,342 at Bramall Lane – leaves Group C all square after Portugal, late replacements due to Russia’s ban, came from 2-0 down to draw with Switzerland in the earlier game.
Sweden, the first ever champions in 1984, are ranked second in the world and the Netherlands, who beat Sweden in the quarter-finals en route to the 2017 title and again in the 2019 World Cup semi-final, fourth.
Sweden left Stina Blackstenius and Sofia Jakobsson on their bench while for the Netherlands, Danielle van de Donk was passed fit to start.
The Dutch suffered an early alarm when Van Veenendaal flattened defenders Stefanie van der Gragt and Lynn Wilms while defending a free-kick. The whistle ended Sweden’s ongoing attack with concern over Van der Gragt in particular, with Van Veenendaal receiving attention in the aftermath and forced off around 10 minutes later.
Sweden’s Kosovare Asllani shot wide after controlling Fridolina Rolfo’s cross before Barcelona star Rolfo sent a 40-yard shot over the head of Van Veenendaal’s replacement Daphne van Domselaar, winning only her second cap, but also over the bar.
Lieke Martens and Roord failed to threaten with long-range efforts and Sweden took a 36th-minute lead when Asllani brilliantly beat Nouwen and her low cross was finished by wing-back Andersson for only her third goal in 51 caps.
Lina Hurtig headed Andersson’s cross wide under pressure from Nouwen, who was injured in the process and replaced by Marisa Olislagers.
Van de Donk and Sherida Spitse shot over as seven added minutes failed to produce a Dutch response before half-time.
First Andersson and then Rolfo wasted good opportunities from Swedish counters and they were made to pay as Roord finished well on the turn in the 52nd minute, the Wolfsburg player’s eighth goal in as many internationals.
Netherlands striker Vivianne Miedema turned well but dug a shot well wide – but the Arsenal forward was the creator for her side’s best chance of a winner, feeding former club-mate Roord whose hesitation allowed Magdalena Eriksson to make a goal-saving tackle.
Van Domselaar, who had grown into the game, brilliantly fielded substitute Johanna Rytting Kaneryd’s cross and saved Rolfo’s fierce drive to preserve a point.
Jessica Silva’s equaliser ensured the battle of the Group C underdogs ended all square as Portugal fought back from from 2-0 down against Switzerland to take a point.
Trailing to goals from Coumba Sow and Rahel Kiwic inside the opening five minutes at Leigh Sports Village, Francisco Neto’s side, only at the finals as a result of Russia’s expulsion, hit back through Diana Gomes and Silva to claim a 2-2 draw.
They might have taken all three points had substitute Telma Encarnacao not been thwarted by a post at the death.
With defending champions Netherlands and Sweden to come, that may not be enough to progress with both teams knowing before kick-off the game was essentially a must-win affair.
Switzerland, who had skipper Lia Walti winning her 100th cap, got off to a dream start when, with barely a minute gone, Sow latched on to a loose ball 25 yards out and smashed a shot across the scrambling keeper Ines Pereira and inside the far post.
Pereira was picking the ball out of her net for a second time with less than five minutes gone after defender Kiwic had timed her run perfectly to meet Ramona Bachmann’s free-kick and head home.
The shell-shocked Portuguese gradually worked their way into the game with striker Silva prominent, but they rarely looked like reducing the deficit as the Swiss defence – marshalled by Bachmann and Viola Calligaris – held firm with little real difficulty.
Silva fired over seven minutes following the restart after turning smartly on the edge of the box, but her side’s plight might have worsened seconds later when Bachmann found space on the left but fired across the face of goal with Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic begging in vain for a pull-back.
However, Portugal were back in it with 58 minutes gone when, after Swiss keeper Gaelle Thalmann had made a fine save to keep out Gomes’ firm header from Ana Borges’ corner, the central defender bundled the rebound over the line.
They were level within eight minutes when Silva got ahead of Calligaris to apply a sublime finish to Tatiana Pinto’s cross.
Dolores Silva saw a 70th-minute free-kick beaten away by Thalmann and Diana Silva passed up two good opportunities before Switzerland’s Geraldine Reuteler and Sow were denied a winner by the woodwork and full-back Catarina Amado respectively.
But Encarnacao was equally unfortunate not to snatch victory with two minutes remaining when her shot came back off the post.
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Afternoon! We saw plenty of goals in Group B yesterday – will Group C follow suit today? We kick off with the two less fancied sides. Portugal are only at the tournament because Russia – who they lost a playoff against – were thrown out after the invasion of Ukraine. Portugal’s coach, Francisco Neto, said he did not want it to be this way because it means people in Ukraine are suffering.
Ranked 30 in the world, they are a team on the rise and better than they were two years ago. They had some decent results in their three warm-up matches, beating Greece twice, 4-0 and 1-0 and then taking a very creditable 1-1 draw away from a friendly against Australia. Benfica forward Jessica Silva is their one to watch – she missed the Euros in 2017 through injury and will be desperate to make a mark at this tournament. She’s full of tricks and is at her peak now she is 27 years old.
Switzerland are ranked 20 in the world but not in the best form of late. They needed a penalty shootout win over Czech Republic to book their place here. “I don’t give a shit how we won, we are going to the Euros,” said captain Lia Walti afterwards. She’s the leader in this team and she’ll have to inspire some improved performances if they are to qualify. The Swiss haven’t won in their last five matches and in their last three they lost 4-0 to England, 7-0 to Germany and 1-0 to Italy.
It is located in Switzerland and has no walls or bathroom. That is okay, however, as it is conveniently located on the same property as a service station. No roof means that people staying there will be out of luck if it rains or snows. They should be just fine on a mild day though.
There is a point to it all. It is designed to keep people awake to pay more attention to the world and the environment around them.