Hundred of supporters cheer Netherlands to victory in Women’s World Cup semifinal

As many as 3,000 expected to watch final on Sunday at Civic Center

“You only need one. You only need one.”

Sitting in the grass wearing orange socks and a sweatshirt of the Dutch national team, Paul Dijkstra, 58, watches Hedvig Lindahl, the women’s Swedish goalkeeper, deflect the ball on to the crossbar in the 64th minute. The game was still 0-0.

Dijkstra, who just came back from Amsterdam Tuesday, was among the several hundred supporters who gathered in Sue Bierman Park Wednesday at noon for a public screening of The Netherlands- Sweden 2019 FIFA Women’s Soccer Cup’s semifinal.

That one goal he was wishing for came during extra time at the 99th minute, after Jackie Groenen, a Dutch midfielder, scored and delivered for the Dutch supporters of the Sue Bierman Park.

A few feet away from Dijkstra sit Marcus Hertz, 27, and Sofie Borck, 27, who came to San Francisco from Stockholm for the holidays. The public screening was near their hotel.

“I’m so nervous. I have had stomach cramps all morning,” said Borck, wearing a Swedish national jersey.

Many supporters took advantage of the match to take a lunch break in the park but headed back to their nearby offices before the referee had whistled a 30-minute extra time, around 1:45 p.m.

After the 1-0 victory, The Netherlands will now face the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT), the defending champion, on Sunday.

Dutch supporters admitted the United States’ team was the favorite but displayed confidence in their team’s ability, as a UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 champion, to beat the odds.

“I think the American team is a little bit arrogant. They probably underestimate The Netherlands. There’s a reason we are nicknamed ‘The Lions,’” said Lois Bijl, a 33-year-old resident of Berkeley.

“Dutches are tall and have a good defense. That’ll be tough to score them goals,” said Dijkstra.

Recreation and Parks officials have already scheduled a public screening Sunday at 8 a.m in Civic Center Plaza and expect around 3,000 people, as many as for the 2018 World Cup’s final last July 15th.


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