Women's World Cup: Groenen reaches semi-finals in France
Jackie Groenen and the Netherlands are just one game away from the Women's World Cup final, after overcoming Italy in the quarter-finals.
The midfielder, who has signed a pre-contract agreement to join Manchester United Women this summer, played the full match as the Dutch won 2-0 in Saturday’s tie in Valenciennes.
Second-half headers from the nation’s leading goalscorer Vivianne Miedema and Stefanie van der Gragt, both from Sherida Spitse free-kicks, sealed their place in the competition’s last four for the first time.
The impressive victory at Stade du Hainaut ensured the European champions set up a semi-final clash with Sweden, who beat Germany 2-1 in Rennes later on Saturday. The game will be played in Lyon on Wednesday (kick-off 20:00 BST).
The Netherlands will also compete in next year's Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, as a result of being one of the final three European teams in the World Cup.
Groenen has now completed four of the Dutch’s five games at the tournament in France, missing just 14 minutes of action when replaced in the opening group game against New Zealand.
The 24-year-old has been part of an effective midfield trio alongside Arsenal’s Danielle van de Donk and Spitse of Norwegian side Valerenga – a team United Women will face in a pre-season friendly in Oslo on 31 July.
Meanwhile, Groenen’s United team-mates Alex Greenwood and Abbie McManus could be in action for England in the other semi-final on Tuesday. Phil Neville’s Lionesses take on the holders USA in Lyon (kick-off 20:00 BST).