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UEFA WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP 2017: HOST NETHERLANDS TOPS GROUP A

The Netherlands reached the last eight of Women’s Euro 2017 with victory over Belgium, and Denmark joined them by beating 2013 finalists Norway.

After Sherida Spitse’s penalty gave the Netherlands the lead, Belgium’s Tessa Wullaert levelled from long range.

But a deflected shot from Barcelona winger Lieke Martens ensured the hosts topped Group A with a 100% record.

Norway exited without scoring a goal in their three losses, as Katrine Veje’s early goal gave Denmark second spot.

The Netherlands had looked set for a nervy finish when Wullaert’s bizarre, looping effort dropped in over unsuspecting Arsenal keeper Sari van Veenendaal.

Belgium still needed another goal to have a chance of going through, and Martens’ winner settled matters.

Norway pay the penalty

Norway have reached two of the past three European finals, but their disappointing 2017 campaign was summed up by a frustrating night in Deventer.

They fell behind to a fifth-minute opener from Veje, as she tucked in a left-footed effort from Pernille Harder’s well-timed pass.

The two-time winners had a great chance to level after Sanne Troelsgaard brought down BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year Ada Hegerberg in the area, but Wolfsburg forward Caroline Graham Hansen’s penalty was saved.

Norway – who knew they had to win to have any hope of avoiding elimination – hit the woodwork twice in quick succession late on, as first Graham Hansen hit the post, then Ingrid Wold struck the bar.

Graham Hansen then thought she had equalised, but her effort was ruled out as Hegerberg was offside in the build-up. Lisa-Marie Utland then had a header brilliantly saved.

Denmark will play the winners of Group B in Rotterdam on Saturday, while the Netherlands will meet the runners-up in Doetinchem.

Two of Sweden, holders Germany and Russia will progress from Group B, which concludes on Tuesday.

Source: BBC Sports

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