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Women’s World Cup: Netherlands beat Cameroon 3-1 to reach last 16

Highlights: Netherlands 3- 1 Cameroon

The Netherlands confirmed their place in the World Cup knockout stage with a game to spare as they beat Cameroon at the Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes.

Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema, 22, became the European champions’ all-time top scorer as she registered her 59th and 60th international goals to eclipse Manon Melis’ record in just her 77th cap.

Miedema headed Sarina Wiegman’s side ahead as she met Lyon winger Shanice van de Sanden’s cross after 41 minutes, but Cameroon were level just 154 seconds later through Gabrielle Onguene.

Roared on by more than 10,000 fans, the Dutch made amends swiftly after half-time as Cameroon’s failure to clear a free-kick allowed Arsenal midfielder Dominique Bloodworth to convert.

Miedema then ensured the victory, and qualification, as she cut inside from the left before unleashing a powerful shot beyond goalkeeper Annette Ngo Ndom with five minutes remaining.

The Netherlands top Group E after winning back-to back World Cup matches for the first time, before Canada’s match against New Zealand in Grenoble at 20:00 BST.

Teams in the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup
England Italy
Germany France

‘Miedema can break every record’

The Netherlands, ranked eighth in the world, needed an injury-time winner to edge their group opener against New Zealand and lacked a cutting edge despite dominating the play until Miedema’s well-taken breakthrough.

That goal had left Women’s Super League top scorer Miedema, who will be 23 on 15 July, level with ex-striker Melis, who retired from international football with 136 caps in 2016, aged 29.

And, with winless Cameroon chasing an equaliser, Miedema opted for sheer power to add a second and make the record her own.

“It is something special,” Miedema said. “It’s something I’m only going to live once and it’s a special experience for me. It’s a World Cup – you score a goal, I think you can cheer and be a little crazy about it.”

The 2018-19 PFA Player of the Year alongside Liverpool’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk, Miedema scored 22 goals and provided a further 10 assists in 19 appearances as Arsenal won a first WSL title since 2012.

Speaking on Miedema’s achievement on BBC One, former Leeds United Ladies striker Lucy Ward said: “She’s something else. She could break every record going, goal-wise.”

“At 2-1 Cameroon had chances, but the power of that shot from Vivianne Miedema – it was world-class finishing.”

Meanwhile, Manchester United Women’s manager Casey Stoney described the striker’s potential as “frightening”, adding: “What records she goes on to break, who knows.

“When Vivianne Miedema gets into the box she comes alive.”

Women’s World Cup 2019: Vivianne Miedema scores again to make it 3-1 Netherlands

Miedema leads the way – the stats

  • The Netherlands scored more than one goal in a Women’s World Cup match for the first time.
  • Cameroon have lost four of their past five matches at the Women’s World Cup, losing three in a row.
  • Vivianne Miedema became the first Netherlands player to score more than once in a Women’s World Cup match.
  • The Netherlands have won 13 and lost none of their 16 previous matches against teams from Africa.

What’s next?

The Netherlands complete their group-stage campaign against Canada on Thursday (17:00 BST) in what could be a battle for Group E’s top-spot in Reims, while Cameroon face New Zealand in Montpellier at the same time.