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Miedema makes history as Netherlands clinch last 16 berth at World Cup

The Netherlands are through to the last 16 of the women’s World Cup after their 3-1 victory over Cameroon in Valenciennes © AFP / Philippe HUGUEN

Valenciennes, France, Jun 15 – Vivianne Miedema became her country’s all-time record goal-scorer with a brace as the Netherlands saw off a spirited Cameroon 3-1 on Saturday to secure a place in the last 16 of the women’s World Cup.

Miedema’s goals came either side of a close-range Dominique Bloodworth strike for the European champions in Valenciennes, with Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene netting for Cameroon.

The Netherlands have won two out of two in Group E and their place in the knockout rounds is therefore secure before they take on Canada in Reims next week.

Miedema’s double means the 22-year-old forward already has 60 international goals, making her the all-time top scorer for the Netherlands women’s side.

“I am 22 years old and I hope I have a nice career in front of me. I have no idea where this will end, but as long as I continue playing at his level I hope to keep adding more goals,” said the Arsenal star.

Sarina Wiegman’s team were helped by a huge Dutch support which turned the Stade du Hainaut into a sea of orange, with around 15,000 fans expected in the northern French town which lies only a two-hour drive across Belgium from the southern Netherlands.

“The fact that the match was played in Valenciennes which is very close to Holland, I think that put us at a disadvantage,” said Cameroon coach Alain Djeumfa, insisting that gave the Dutch a “psychological” edge.

Those Dutch supporters saw their team take the lead in the 41st minute through a fine goal, with exciting winger Shanice van de Sanden playing a one-two with Jackie Groenen before crossing for Miedema to head home.

The lead lasted only two minutes, though, with Aboudi Onguene latching onto a long ball forward and rounding goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal to score.

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However, the Dutch restored their lead within three minutes of the second half starting, with the Indomitable Lionesses failing to deal with a well-worked free-kick and the ball falling for defender Bloodworth — who plays with Miedema at Arsenal — to convert.

Substitute Lineth Beerensteyn then played in Miedema to run through and blast in their third late on.

Canada can also clinch qualification for the last 16 with a win over New Zealand later in Grenoble.

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