By Jeroen van Barneveld
06 Aug 2023 at 02:48 Update: 3 minutes ago
Lineth Beerensteyn returns to the line-up of the Dutch national team for the round of 16 against South Africa (kick-off at 4 a.m. Dutch time). The striker has recovered from an injury and is preferred to Katja Snoeijs.
The 26-year-old Beerensteyn injured her ankle more than a week ago in the first World Cup match against Portugal. For that reason, she had to miss the group matches against the United States (1-1) and Vietnam (7-0).
Snoeijs replaced her in those matches. After Vivianne Miedema’s previous injury, the third striker was at the point of the Orange attack. Snoeijs did not do it entirely without merit: the World Cup debutante made the 2-0 against Vietnam. Now that Beerensteyn is fit, Snoeijs has to give way again.
Jackie Groenen, who trained separately from the group on Friday, is ‘just’ in the starting eleven. Stefanie van der Gragt can play the last game of her career. The thirty-year-old defender previously announced that he would stop after the World Cup.
Danielle van de Donk has to be extra careful. With a yellow card, she is suspended for the possible quarter-final, in which Spain is the opponent on August 11. The Spaniards won 5-1 against Switzerland on Saturday. Only after the quarterfinals are all cards waived.
Kgatlana is south of Africa
With South Africa, the Netherlands will meet one of the sensations of this World Cup. The number 54 in the world ranking stunted on Wednesday with a 3-2 win over Italy and reached the last sixteen of a World Cup for the first time in history.
In South Africa, Thembi Kgatlana is the player to keep an eye on. The striker is lightning fast and has already scored two goals this World Cup, including the winning one in the injury time of the duel with Italy. National coach Jonker jokingly called her a niece of former top athlete Nelli Cooman.
The Netherlands-South Africa starts on Sunday at 4 a.m. Dutch time in Sydney. The game will be played at the Sydney Football Stadium, which can seat 45,500 people. The KNVB expects about two thousand Dutch people in the stadium.
Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita is the referee for the match. Yamashita also whistled the Netherlands in the top match against the US. Afterwards, players and national coach Jonker were critical of her lenient way of whistling.