The Netherlands required a late charge to overcome Switzerland by 4-1 and secure a spot in the European Championship quarter final on Sunday, while Sweden breezed through Portugal 5-0.
The Dutch squad was held at 1-1 until the 84th minute when Romée Leuchter fired a looping header high over onrushing goalkeeper Galle Thalman, who had made a number of spectacular saves up to that moment.
Victoria Pelova made it 3-1 in the 89th minute, but only after a lengthy VAR check for offside, and Leuchter scored her second and the team’s fourth in added time.
The Dutch effort was less convincing than the eventual three-goal margin suggested, despite the fact that they needed a draw to qualify. It wasn’t enough to beat Sweden to top place in Group C, so the Netherlands will meet France in the quarterfinals.
For the most part, the game resembled a re-enactment of the Dutch’s 3-2 triumph against Portugal on Wednesday, when the Dutch battled to maintain control of a game they were heavy favourites to win.
After a scoreless first half highlighted mostly by video review overturning a penalty for the Netherlands, the Dutch side seized the lead in the 49th minute when Swiss midfielder Ana-Maria Crnogorevi attempted to clear the ball but instead diverted it into her own net.
The Swiss response was almost immediate, Géraldine Reuteler scoring off a pass from Ramona Bachmann.
The Swiss had a chance to qualify with an upset win and nearly seized the lead immediately after Reuteler’s goal, but Coumba Sow blasted one shot at the goalie and then another off the post.
Sweden finished first in the group after scoring two goals soon before halftime to put the fight out of Portugal.
Filippa Angeldal began the score in the 21st minute and made it 2-0 in the 45th before an own-goal off Carole Costa’s head from a corner.
Captain Kosovare Asllani scored a penalty in the 54th minute, while Stina Blackstenius increased Sweden’s lead in stoppage time.
Sweden will face either Iceland, Belgium or Italy in the third quarter-final on Friday whereas the Netherlands set up their quarterfinal clash against France.