The Netherlands have qualified for a second straight FIFA Women’s World Cup™ after a 1-1 second-leg draw in Switzerland ensured a 4-1 aggregate success in their European zone qualification play-off final on Tuesday evening.
It was an eventful start to the decisive leg at LIPO Park in Schaffhausen, with the European champions finding themselves down a player after only eight minutes. Dutch captain Anouk Dekker was shown a straight red card after a professional foul on Switzerland forward Ramona Bachmann.
Though reduced to ten players, the Netherlands threatened to extend their aggregate lead through a pair of first-half chances from Shanice van de Sanden - the latter of which produced a great save from Switzerland goalkeeper Gaelle Thalmann.
Any hopes that the Swiss had of a comeback ended on 52 minutes when Vivianne Miedema finished off a fine Dutch move to put the visitors in front with a valuable away goal. Though Coumba Sow equalised for Switzerland on 71 minutes, it was Sarina Wiegman’s side that celebrated their spot in next year’s competition at the final whistle.
With the aggregate victory, the Dutch return to the world finals after making their debut at Canada 2015. They join tournament hosts France and fellow European qualifiers England, Germany, Italy, Norway, Scotland, Spain and Sweden in booking their spots at France 2019.