Women’s World Cup Roundup: Netherlands ends South Africa’s dream run; Sweden knockout USA in PKs on knockout rounds day 2

Day one of the knockout rounds of the 2023 Women’s World Cup saw two giants at this tournament move on. Day two saw two European sides dominate sending home the reigning World Cup champions, and an underdog looking to show they could make a deep run at this World Cup. Let’s take at the action from day two of the knockout rounds!

World Cup
Sweden’s team celebrate after defeating the United States in a penalty shootout in their Women’s World Cup round of 16 soccer match in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)

Women’s World Cup Roundup: Round of 16 Day 2

Netherlands score two to get the better of South Africa

World Cup
Netherlands’ Jill Roord, right celebrates with teammates after scoring her side’s first goal during the Women’s World Cup round of 16 soccer match between the Netherlands and South Africa at the Sydney Football Stadium in Sydney, Australia, Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

The Netherlands were the deserved winners of Group E. They took care of business against Portugal and Vietnam and drew a USA side that beat them in the final of the 2019 World Cup. For their efforts, they got to take on the runners-up in Group G South Africa. South Africa was able to beat out Argentina and Italy to make the knockout rounds. after a tough loss to Sweden, South Africa drew Argentina and got a last-minute winner vs Italy to make it to this point, could their Cinderella run continue?

As the game began both teams looked to play at a very fast pace. There were chances for both teams, but it would be the Dutch would strike first in this match. Sheida Spitse sent in a good corner that found the head of Lineth Beerensteyn. Her effort on goal was saved, but the ball popped up in the air and Jill Roord was able to get the ball to go into the net. It was 1-0 in the 9th minute, but South Africa roared back!

After the Netherlands’ goal, South Africa really tried to hit them where it hurt. The Dutch continued to hold the ball and looked to get a second goal, but South Africa was able to defend well and hit them on the counterattack. Thembi Kgatlana was able to create three big chances on the counter in the 11th, 12th, and 14th minutes. All of the chances were left wanting of a finish, but it was clear that South Africa had a way to attack moving forward. As the match went on South Africa failed to get their goal heading towards halftime.

In the second half, South Africa kept pushing, but could not find the breakthrough. They created 13 shots, seven of which were on target. That’s a decent breakdown of chances, but none would go in on the day for the underdogs. They were finished off by the Netherlands in the 68th minute. Lieke Martens was able to get on the ball after a South African attack broke down. She was able to find the run of Beerensteyn who took a touch and fired a shot outside the box into the net. It was 2-0 with 20 minutes left.

South Africa couldn’t get the response they needed, and their run at this World Cup came to an end. The Netherlands will be off to the quarterfinals their match taking place at the end of this week!

Sweden frustrate the USA and then knock out the reigning world champions in penalties

World Cup
United States’ Lindsey Horan heads the ball during the Women’s World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Sweden and the United States in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)

The USA made the knockout round thanks to a shot that hit the post vs Portugal. Sweden had dominated their group asserting their dominance on set pieces. The two created a knockout round collision course of these highly ranked teams.

The match was the best showing the USWNT had, but they still lacked attacking quality. Sweden had their worst match in terms of their ability to create quality chances but still stayed in the game. This one is an all-time-great match of this World Cup, take a look at Regina Ham’s recap of all of the action below!


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Tim Lovenguth | Regina Ham | Paul Frenzel | Jimmy King | Liam Jenkins

Mandatory Credit: AP Photo/Hamish Blair & AP Photo/Mark Baker.