Netherlands women took a step towards the World Cup after beating Denmark 2-0 in the first-leg of their playoff semi-final. 

The defending European champions found themselves in the playoffs after finishing second in their group behind Norway. Standing in the way of Sarina Wiegman’s team and the World Cup is Denmark.

At NAC’s Rat Verlegh Stadion, Netherlands dominated from the start and hit the bar in the 14th minute through Jackie Groenen. Six minutes later it was 1-0 with Lineth Beerensteyn, who started in place of the unfit Vivanne Miedema, firing into the far corner after being set up by Shanice van de Sanden.

Before the break it was 2-0 as van de Sanden got herself on the scoresheet with a header from a cross by Kika van Es.

In the second half, Netherlands should have killed the tie but Beerensteyn, Lieke Martens and Anouk Dekker all missed good chances while Miedema hit the bar after coming off the bench.

Just before the end, Netherlands escaped an away goal as Denmark hit the woodwork through Katrine Veje.

A good win for Netherlands which should have been bigger, but they will now look to finish the job and book their place in the playoff final when they travel to Denmark on Tuesday.

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