Groenen's Netherlands held in first Euro 2022 game
Manchester United Women’s midfielder Jackie Groenen played the entirety of the Netherlands’ 1-1 draw with Sweden, as the holders got their Euro 2022 campaign under way.
The sides were cheered on by 21,342 supporters at Bramall Lane, a new record crowd for a Women's Euros group-stage game not involving a host nation. This eclipsed the attendance of 16,819 for Spain's clash with Finland just one day prior.
Groenen started alongside Sherida Spitse in the heart of the Oranje midfield, as Mark Parsons fielded a strong side, led by deadly Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema.
The Netherlands are one of this year’s favourites, having lifted the European trophy in 2017, but they had to come from behind to earn a point against an impressive Swedish side.
Another day, another record attendance 🥳— Ticketing - UEFA Women's EURO 2022 (@WEUROTicketing) July 9, 2022
Yesterday, #ESP v #FIN - with 16,819 - became the biggest-ever UEFA Women's EURO group-stage crowd not involving a host nation...
…then #NED v #SWE came along 🤩#WEURO2022
Jonna Andersson opened the scoring for the Swedes within 35 minutes, arriving at the back post to finish, after great work from Kosovare Asllani on the right wing.
The Netherlands responded, with Danielle van de Gonk firing over in the first half. Having gone in behind at the break, it only took Parsons’ side seven minutes of the second period to draw level.
Following Miedema’s powerful run and attempted pass, Jill Roord pounced on the loose ball on the edge of the box and fired a low effort beyond Hedvig Lindahl in the Sweden goal.
Groenen drove her nation forward in the closing stages, and her brilliant skill launched a dangerous attack which almost resulted in a winner, were it not for a brilliant last-ditch tackle.
The match ended level, and despite the draw, Groenen and her team-mates will be pleased that the Euro 2022 campaign did not begin with a defeat.
Next up for the Netherlands is their second Group C match against Portugal on Wednesday (20:00 BST). This will feel like a home fixture for Groenen, as the game will be staged at United Women's regular venue, Leigh Sports Village.
WHEN ARE OUR PLAYERS NEXT IN ACTION?
There are no Reds involved in today's Group D fixtures, as Belgium take on Iceland at 17:00 BST, before France and Italy meet at 20:00 BST.
However, United fans will not have to wait too much longer as England face Norway on Monday evening (20:00 BST) at Brighton's Amex Stadium. This clash could feature five of our players on the pitch at the same time, as Mary Earps, Alessia Russo and Ella Toone could line up against Maria Thorisdottir and Vilde Boe Risa.
Certainly a game to keep an eye on!