•      Fri Jun 21 2024

Netherlands beats South Africa 2-0 to advance to the quarterfinals

SYDNEY (AP) — Netherlands had just advanced to the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup, yet star midfielder Danielle van de Donk looked inconsolable.

Her yellow card in the second half of the 2-0 win over South Africa on Sunday means she will serve a one-match suspension. Her tears were likely in realization that she may have played her final match of the tournament if the Dutch lose to Spain in the quarterfinals.

But Netherlands coach Andries Jonker had no time for any negativity.

“We’ve come with the conviction that we can beat everybody. And if you say we can beat everybody, it includes all teams, South Africa, but also Spain,” he said. “So it means it’s not the last game for Danielle. We want to beat Spain, then she can come back into the tournament.”

The Dutch certainly appear to be contenders again after losing to the United States in the World Cup final four years ago.

Netherlands' Kerstin Casparij, left, and Netherlands' goalkeeper Daphne Van Domselaar celebrates after winning the Women's World Cup round of 16 soccer match against South Africa at the Sydney Football Stadium in Sydney, Australia, Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

After finishing above the Americans in Group E this time, they overcame South Africa at Sydney Football Stadium through goals from Jill Roord in the first half and Lineth Beerensteyn in the second.

Spain is among the title favorites, and backed up its billing with a 5-1 win over Switzerland in the round of 16.

Netherlands had to work harder for its place in the last eight, with goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar producing a player-of-the-match performance with a string of saves to keep South Africa at bay.