Netherlands-Sweden set Women’s Euro 2022 attendance record


Defending champions, Netherlands and the first ever winners of Women’s Euro, Sweden on Saturday broke the record set by Spain and Finland a day ago of being the most attended non-host group stage match in the tournament.

A total of 21,342 people attended the Group C contest at the Bramall Lane in Sheffield. Previously on Friday, a crowd of 16,819 was in attendance for the Spain-Finland Group B match in Milton Keynes. A record that barely stood 24 hours.

The Women’s Euro 2022 also surpassed the 2005 edition of the tournament in terms of the overall attendance, within four days. On Friday, the competition reached the aggregate attendance of 137,816, eclipsing the numbers from the tournament England hosted 17 years back as well (118,403).

A stalemate at Sheffield

On the pitch, the first and the previous champions of Women’s Euro presented one of the contests of the tournament. With thousands of visiting of fans to impress, the Netherlands left coach Mark Parsons disappointed after conceding against Sweden at the start of the Women’s European Championship title defense.

It took Jill Roord’s goal on the turn in the 52nd minute to cancel out Jonna Andersson’s goal — only the third in 51 appearances for the Sweden wing back — to recover a 1-1 draw for the Netherlands in Group C on Saturday.

“It was tough but we got some good moments when we played some possession football,” Parsons said. “It wasn’t enough, the spaces were big, so it meant Viv (Miedema) and others had to make too much running. I was pretty disappointed with the goal.” Improvement will be needed quickly with a meeting on Wednesday with Portugal, which recovered from conceding twice in the opening five minutes against Switzerland before staging a comeback in the second half to draw 2-2.

The Dutch will also have to assess the injuries that disrupted the clash with Sweden, with goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal and defender Aniek Nouwen forced off.

Switzerland and Portugal play four goals split equal

In the other Group C clash on the day, Switzerland and Portugal played a 2-2 draw in what was quite the comeback from the Portuguese after conceding twice in the first five minutes of the match by Coumba Sow and Rahel Kivic.

Portugal’s recovery was started in the 58th by Diana Gomes, who met the rebound after her initial header from a corner was saved by goalkeeper Gaëlle Thalmann.

The equalizer was grabbed in the 65th by Jéssica Silva meeting a cross from Tatiana Pinto, ensuring the early Swiss goals from Coumba Sow and Rahel Kiwic were wiped out.

“This is Portugal — a Portugal with soul, the fighting spirit,” Silva said.

“The bravery shown was fantastic but unfortunately we couldn’t score more.” Portugal coach Francisco Neto was delighted with the maturity shown by his players who secured a place in the 16-team tournament only after Russia was banned for invading Ukraine.

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