Spain v Netherlands: Women’s World Cup 2023 quarter-final – live

Key events

34 mins: Hernandez works her way up from right back and unleashes a waist-high cross into a dangerous spot.

Then she gets a yellow card for stepping on Groenen’s foot, and she’ll miss the semifinals.

More on the scheduling:

@duresport reading your guardian commentary on Spain v Netherlands.

You’re right, we seldom skip work. We need to keep working because our economy is in the toilet.

Except perhaps for PM Mr Hipkins in your photo, who has regularly been “absent ” over the past six years 😉

— onekickduck (@onekickduck) August 11, 2023

32 mins: A bad cross-field pass from Janssen appears to end a Dutch possession, but Brugts simply outwrestles a defender to win it back.

Is Jill Roord hiding somewhere?

30 mins: Van Domselaar seems shakier today than in previous games. Under a bit of pressure, the Dutch keeper blasts a clearance out of play.

Many people are asking why this game is at such an inconvenient hour for New Zealand fans. The fact that it’s a very convenient hour for US fans is surely not a coincidence. We could’ve seen the US in this game, and the ratings would’ve surely been over 10m.

28 mins: And yet … if one of these direct balls from the Dutch can get there at the right time, this could be 1-0 the other way. Coll has to come out of her box to clear one. Then they find Beerensteyn deep in Spanish territory, and she cuts back for a cross that just sails over Martens’ head. Nice statement of intent.

Mary Waltz has seen this before: “Ol’ Big Sam Allardyce is loving that Route One tactics of the Dutch.” Ouch.

25 mins: These are mesmerizing passing sequences for Spain. This one ends with Caldentey shooting wide from 18 yards. It wasn’t as clear-cut a chance as some of the others, but Spain look like their possessions will end when they say they’ll end.

22 mins: At this point, the stats would say it’s one-way traffic, with Spain holding a solid edge in possession and shots (5-0), two of which hit the post. But the Dutch press looks dangerous.

As I type, two defenders lose Gonzalez, but her shot from the top of the area is straight at Daphne van Domselaar.

If you’re a US fan fretting over the team’s inability to finish, maybe you’ll take some cheer upon seeing another tournament favorite misfiring this badly.

20 mins: We have a delay after a head-to-head collision between Beerensteyn and Spanish defender Codina.

Amanda Collins writes: “Kia ora Beau. Writing from Hamilton, Waikato. You ask if NZs ever skip work? There aren’t enough of us! If we skip work the country will stop!!”

17 mins: OFF THE POST – TWICE! The Dutch can’t clear, and a cross to the middle of the box finds Redondo, whose header forces the Dutch keeper into action. She can only knock it into the post, and Redondo gets to her own rebound and somehow kicks it straight back into the post.

16 mins: The Netherlands wanted a foul called on their corner kick, but we will not see a closer look for a penalty.

Bonmati makes a strong run, balancing on the sideline like Simone Biles on the beam to win a corner.

14 mins: A bit better from the Dutch defensively, keeping the ball in the Spanish half for a while and then intercepting.

Then a mishap at the back for Spain, with a backpass to Coll going pretty far wide. The young keeper tries to rescue it before it goes over the line but can’t get there. That might be a good thing, because she wound up leaving a net as empty as this stadium sounds.

11 mins: The crowd is so, so quiet. Do New Zealanders never skip work?

FIFA President Gianni Infantino and New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Hipkins lead the cheers.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino and New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Hipkins lead the cheers. Photograph: Alessandra Tarantino/AP

9 mins: The Dutch strategy appears to be “direct.” Another way of putting it: “Blast it upfield for Beerensteyn.” Maybe they’ll catch Spain’s inexperienced goalkeeper unaware.

8 mins: More combinations from the Spanish, with the Dutch unable to clear and Daphne van Domselaar looking a little unsure of herself as a cross floats overhead. Hmmmm.

Joe Pearson is also irritated with Fox: “I absolutely roll with Mary Waltz on this one. The Fox coverage is horrible! And we are stuck with them for YEARS for international tournaments. Ugh! The MUTE button works, I might suggest.”

We have a global audience here, so let’s ask – what country’s broadcaster does it best?

(To be fair – Fox has a lot of great people. The coverage decisions have been drawing a few questions. But it’s not too surprising to see a US network being US-centric.)

5 mins: And as I type, there’s a CHANCE for Spain, with Esther Gonzalez winding up with the ball after some nice combination play on the left flank. Her shot is well wide. Unless it was a pass, in which case, her cross is well wide.

4 mins: Let’s specify, though – the Spanish are possessing, but in their own half. The Dutch press is potent.

2 mins: Maybe I’m spoiled because the last game I saw involved host Australia, but the atmosphere for this game at the start is nonexistent. You can hear every word on the field. Pity. This game deserves better.

Spain are possessing. Surprised?

Kickoff: French referee Stéphanie Frappart gets us started.

Fox runs through the lineups again, and again, they mention the absence of Van de Donk but NOT Putellas.

Mary Waltz on Fox coverage: “Beau, I loved the US squad, was crushed when they lost, but even I got sick of the non stop, all USWNT , all the time, Fox coverage. One of the best things about the World Cup is the ability to learn about teams and player’s from across the world. We need no more talk about the US team, tell me about the teams still playing. There are multiple stories to tell, Fox just tells one. Ignorant.”

Pregame mailbag

Daniel Gurfinkiel writes: “Greetings from Costa Rica! I’ve been watching a few matches for this World Cup whenever I could, and it was pretty entertaining so far, but most of the matches have been at 1:30, 3:00, 4:00 in the morning Costa Rica time, so I paid a dear price for watching those matches a few hours later by enduring sleep-deprived days at work. It’s nice to know that I’ll be watching this (hopefully) awesome match between Spain and the Oranjes at 7:00 pm for a change. :D”

I’m debating whether to wake up in the middle of the night to watch Japan and Sweden.

And Mary Waltz checks in: “Possession v counter attack. It should be fascinating, I really can’t decide who should be the favorite, it’s a toss up.”

On Fox, Ari Hingst is pointing out that counter-attacking really isn’t what the Dutch typically do. Can they do it here? Worked for Japan.

So, about those comments …

If you’re a US fan currently watching the lengthy tribute to the older players on the US team, which is now running on Fox instead of analysis of a World Cup quarterfinal they’ll be showing in 15 minutes, you may be looking for a team for which to cheer in this game.

Neither team has obvious links to the US. No NWSL players will be on the field for this one.

But Lineth Beerensteyn might give neutral fans a bit of a nudge – in the other direction. The Dutch forward took a little poke at the four-time World Cup champions: “The first moment when I heard that they were out, I was just thinking ‘yes’, because from the start of this tournament they have already a really big mouth, they were talking already about the final and stuff.”

She didn’t play against in the Netherlands’ 1-1 draw against the US, in case you were wondering.

Spain lineup

The big news for Spain: Back-to-back Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas is NOT in the lineup. She hasn’t been in top form after an ACL injury last year.

The lineup is basically anyone who plays for Barcelona or Real Madrid — each club has nine players on this roster. Two hail from Atlético Madrid, one from Levante, the third-string keeper is from Valencia, and Jennifer Hermoso has taken the non-traditional route by following up a distinguished European club career with a move to Mexico.

Spain had a rather easy time with Costa Rica in the opener, outshooting the Central Americans 46-1 in a 3-0 win. The finishing was better against Zambia, with Hermosa and Redondo each scoring twice in a 5-0 win. The momentum stopped abruptly with a 4-0 loss to Japan that led coach Jorge Vilda to make a few changes, including a senior-level debut for 22-year-old goalkeeper Cata Coll, who has only played five games for Barcelona! (She has not yet allowed a goal.)

As with the Netherlands lineup, an “x” means the player did not play in that game. An asterisk by a rating means that player came on as a sub.


23-Cata Coll (Barcelona): x-x-x-6. Her second cap is against the Netherlands in a World Cup quarterfinal.


2-Ona Batlle (Barcelona): 7-7-6-8. Usually plays on the right but shifted to left back during the debacle against Japan and stayed there against Switzerland. Spent the last few years with Manchester United.

4-Irene Paredes (Barcelona): 7-7-5-7. Center back has played every minute so far.

12-Oihane Hernández (Real Madrid): 6*-7*-5*-7. Right back started against Switzerland after coming off the bench three times in group play.

14-Laia Codina (Barcelona): x-x-x-6. Center back played her first game of the Cup against Switzerland and scored an equalizing own goal in the 11th minute. Bounced back to score Spain’s fourth.


3-Teresa Abelleira (Real Madrid): 8-8-6-7. Center mid scored against Zambia.

6-Aitana Bonmatí (Barcelona): 8-7-6-9. Played centrally alongside Albelleira when Putellas was out against Costa Rica but has been on the right since. Scored against Costa Rica, but the big story with her is her two-goal, two-assist showing against Switzerland. And that’s the only game in which she hasn’t played the full 90.

10-Jennifer Hermoso (Pachuca): 7-9-6-8. Has played as a No 10, a No 9 and whatever number a left midfielder is. Scored twice against Zambia and netted the final goal against Switzerland.


8-Mariona Caldentey (Barcelona): 6*-7-6-x. Left wing returns to the lineup.

9-Esther González (Real Madrid): 7-x-6*-7. Wears and plays No 9. Scored against Costa Rica.

17-Alba Redondo (Levante): 6*-8*-6*-8. Scored twice as a sub against Zambia. Started and scored against Switzerland.

Alexia Putellas goes out on the field to warm up.
Alexia Putellas goes out on the field to warm up. Photograph: Maja Hitij/FIFA/Getty Images

Netherlands lineup

Who’s playing for the Netherlands today? Here’s the lineup, with rating info from our guide to all 736 players. An “x” means they didn’t play in the game in question.

Those games were a 1-0 win over Portugal, a 1-1 draw with the USA, a 7-0 romp over Vietnam, and a 2-0 knockout-round win over South Africa.


1-Daphne van Domselaar (Aston Villa): 7-6-7-7. Those ratings seem low. She’s a monster.


20-Dominique Janssen (Wolfsburg): 7-5-7-?. Not sure why she got no rating for the round of 16 — she’s the only field player who has played all 360 minutes.

3-Stefanie van der Gragt (free agent): 8-6-7-5. The center back is retiring after this Cup, though she’s only 30.

8-Sherida Spitse (Ajax): 7-6-8-7. The 33-year-old captain has been with the national team for more than half her life.


11-Jackie Groenen (PSG): 8-5-6-6. Box-to-box midfielder has a lot of responsibility holding things down behind all the attackers.

22-Esmee Brugts (free agent): 7-6-8-7. Very impressive on the left.

21-Damaris Egurrola (Lyon): 6-6-6-x. Subbed in all the group matches, sat out the round of 16, and is making her first start of the Cup here in place of the suspended Daniëlle van de Donk.

6-Jill Roord (Manchester City): 7-8-8-8. In the running for the Golden Boot.

17-Victoria Pelova (Arsenal): 7-7-6-6. Right wing.


7-Lineth Beerensteyn (Juventus): 7-x-x-8. Had some interesting comments that we’ll get to.

11-Lieke Martens (PSG): 7-7-7-7. An all-time great for this team.

Dutch supporters march to the stadium.
Dutch supporters march to the stadium. Photograph: Alessandra Tarantino/AP


Hello all. It’s been a while. I think I was last live when the US women also were alive in this Cup.

What an intriguing matchup we have here! Two European nations steeped in men’s soccer tradition that finally caught on to women’s soccer in the past decade and made immense strides, so much so that neither team’s presence here is a surprise, neither team’s presence in the semifinals would be a surprise, and neither team’s presence on the winners’ stand would be a surprise.

On paper, Spain look a bit better to me. But the Netherlands have some top-flight attacking talent and a goalkeeper capable of slamming the door.

Beau will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s Jonathan Liew on an intriguing match-up:

The time begins to weigh at this point. Spain have been in New Zealand for a month, braving near-zero temperatures, the strong winds that numb the fingers and carry perfectly adequate long passes out of play, the ennui so acute the whole squad and their families decided to move from their sleepy Palmerston North training base to the centre of Wellington in the middle of the tournament.

The Netherlands, for their part, have been constantly on the move from their Tauranga base in the north of the country: south to Wellington and Dunedin, west to Sydney for their last-16 game, and back again. “So many airports,” their coach, Andries Jonker, said on Thursday. “So many hotels. So many pitches. So many flights. We are the world champions of flying.”

New Zealand is a place that makes you feel its remoteness: not just in the lush rolling landscapes that seem to go on for ever, but in the dislocation of time zones and distance, the unfamiliar weather, the messages back home you know will go unread for another eight hours. And this ride is rewarding and memorable too. But when you have been riding it long enough, it needs to be the right kind of rewards and the right sort of memories.

And so to a quarter-final between two European giants scheduled for the dead of the European night: 3am in Madrid and Amsterdam. It’s not just the players putting in a shift here. Jonker recommended setting an early alarm. Spain’s coach, Jorge Vilda, reckons it’ll probably be easier to just stay up late. That’s northern and southern Europe for you in a nutshell. For all the familiarities between these two coaches and their sides, there are also dividing lines that promise to generate one of the tournament’s most fascinating encounters.

You can read the full story below:


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