After the Blues qualified for the Euro semi-finals against the Dutch (1-0), find out what caught the editor’s attention.
Delphine Cascarino, the badly rewarded festival
As a particularly successful EuroCup so far, the filos of Lyon has had a real festival, which has made the Dutch dizzy. Simply, Delphine Cascarino will have missed a goal to get the perfect game. That could have happened in the 27th minute when he unleashed a magnificent volley but the ball crashed into the base of the post of an opposing goalkeeper for once defeated. Which was not the case at the end of stoppage time, when he repelled a good effort from the French winger, he went back to his favorite right-back with the departure of Malard and the refocusing of Diani. Lyonnaise has undoubtedly been the best blue of this quarter.
The wall Stefanie Van der Gragt
Saving a ball on his line is already rare for a defender. But after two, it’s time for the exceptional. However, this is the performance that Stefanie van der Gragt achieved this Saturday. All in five minutes flat. First at 36e minute, in a five-meter attempt by Melvine Malard that the Lyonnaise sent directly to him. As always in this case, it’s hard to know whether to give the credit to the well-placed defender, or the fault to the attacker who puts it exactly where it shouldn’t be. Still, at 41evan der Gragt enjoyed playing fancy goalkeeping in an attempt by Grace Geyoro which he almost miraculously repelled.
Daphne van Domselaar, the (almost) heroine of the Netherlands
To say that he only had to play as Sari van Veenendaal’s substitute in this European Championship. To learn, at only 22 years old. But eventually an injury to PSV Eindhoven’s goalkeeper and Daphne van Domselaar came to light. Which he assumed perfectly, especially in this quarter-final during which he multiplied the decisive stops. In particular, in stoppage time against Delphine Cascarino, then on a header from Wendie Renard that she managed to deflect with her fingertips. Finally, it took a penalty from Eve Perisset, who was so close to deflecting, to fall to his knees. At the end of a game with… 10 saves. Excuse me a bit…
The lack of realism of the blues
Undoubtedly, the Dutch goalkeeper had a great game. It is true that the post was recalcitrant with a shot by Cascarino. It is true that the resilience of the Netherlands will have been miraculous at times. But this is also due to the sometimes frightening lack of realism of Corinne Deacon’s daughters. It took 32 shots (!) for Les Bleues to score an unfortunate goal. Reassuring and promising against Iceland, Melvine Malard dunked on Marie-Antoinette Katoto on Saturday. And France’s top scorer at this Euro, Grace Geyoro, symbolized this lack of opportunism with a close-range header on the 87th.e when he had an empty goal in front of him.
The ghost of Vivianne Miedema
The picture is cruel for one of the best players in the world, almost unable to move in the second half of extra time, perhaps because of cramps. Or the consequences of the Covid-19 that had deprived her of the two previous matches in Holland. Even so, Vivianne Miedema, despite all her talent, will have gone through these quarter-finals like a lost soul, unable to get the slightest chance and missing a little bit of everything, speed, percussion, technical precision. A catastrophic performance, like that of the Dutch team, which will have only existed for a quarter of an hour when the second period resumes. But with just one shot on target in 120 minutes, it’s hard to expect to win.