Dunedin: The Netherlands have put on a masterclass of attacking football to storm into the Round of 16 as Group E winners, with a pair of fantastic Esmee Brugts goals the highlight of a 7-0 win over Vietnam here on Tuesday.
Heading into this clash in Dunedin, the Dutch knew they would need to better any potential USA win in the other group match and wasted little time in their pursuit of goals with a chipped finish from Lieke Martens putting them 1-0 up after just eight minutes.
Three further goals followed in the next quarter of an hour with strikes from Katja Snoeijs and Jill Roord sandwiched either side of the first of two brilliant Brugts goals, a curling effort from well outside the box into the far corner of the goal as the Netherlands raced to a 4-0 lead inside 23 minutes, the FIFA reported.
Danielle van de Donk added a fifth just shy of half-time and even with Vietnam ringing in the changes – two outfield players were replaced midway through the first half and goalkeeper Thi Kim Thanh Tran was substituted at the break – still the Dutch continued to threaten.
In what has been a breakthrough tournament for 20-year-old Brugts. she capped a fantastic showing with a near-identical strike to her first, picking up the ball well outside the area and sending a curling effort past Vietnam’s substitute keeper to make it 6-0 in the 57th minute.
An 83rd minute header from close range completed Roord’s brace to round out the 7-0 win, the biggest so far at the tournament, and send the Netherlands through as group winners while Vietnam end their first Women’s World Cup with three straight defeats.