Stefanie van der Gragt headed in the only goal of the game as the Netherlands began their World Cup campaign with a 1-0 victory over Portugal.

Oranje Leeuwin went into the game as favourites and they were the better team from the start against a Portuguese side playing their first World Cup match.

Andries Jonker’s side took the lead in the 13th minute with Van der Gragt rising to head in a corner. There was a lengthy VAR check as Jill Roord was standing in an offside position. However, it was eventually given as a goal.

After that, Netherlands had chances to double the lead but Roord put a header over the bar and Lineth Beerensteyn fired wide.

In the second half, Netherlands sat a bit deeper but Portugal did not have the quality in the final third to really create opportunities. The only shot they got on target was late on but Daphne van Domselaar was equal to it.

It is a victory to start the group with further games to come against the USA on Thursday and then Vietnam.




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