- Fenna Kalma scored a goal and registered an assist against New Zealand
- The Netherlands secured their maiden win in the competition
- Her coach and her father give their reactions to FIFA.com
In firing the Netherlands ahead in the 28th minute of their match against New Zealand in Vannes on Sunday, Fenna Kalma opened her account for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 and struck her country’s first ever goal in the competition. She then rounded off the complete performance 16 minutes from time, setting up team-mate Eva van Deursen for the goal that gave the Oranje their maiden U-20 women’s world finals victory.
“First match, three points. It’s perfect,” she told FIFA.com afterwards, attempting to deflect attention away from her contribution to the win. “Obviously, it’s great to score. I can hardly say otherwise. But the most important thing for me is to help the team. My assist gave me as much of a kick as the opening goal.”
As modest as she is talented, Kalma is a team player through and through, as her delighted coach Michel Kreek confirmed: “A goal and an assist: what more can you ask for from your striker? Fenna had a great game today. She did a lot of work for her team-mates, showing herself and supporting them, and she got back to defend too. It was a great performance.”
It came as no surprise to see Kalma hit the heights against the New Zealanders. Great things have been expected of the Heerenveen forward for a while now and her speed, build and goalscoring instincts have led some to liken her to Vivianne Miedema, a former striker at the club. “It’s always an honour to be compared to players like that,” said the talented Kalma, before again putting the team first and herself second. “But that’s not really what I’m looking for. I just want to be myself and to help my team as best I can.”
Arm in arm with his daughter, her father Klaas Fenna praised her efforts after the match: “I don’t know if she’s going to be a future star of the Netherlands but I do know that she’s a fantastic player. She really works hard at it and I’m happy she’s got her reward. I’m one very happy father, and it was a great moment for me when she scored. I’m delighted for her. I’m delighted for me obviously, but I’m especially delighted for her.”
Lauded by her coach, her father and her compatriots, Kalma’s self-effacing modesty was severely put to the test on Sunday.