THE NETHERLANDS – Disappointed, but proud. Those three words sum up the emotions of the Oranje Lionesses after their 2-0 loss against the United States in the World Cup final in Lyon on Sunday. “Sure there is disappointment, but we had a fantastic tournament. This is now the result, and I am very proud”, goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal said to NOS.
According to Van Veenendaal, who was named the best goalkeeper of the World Cup, Oranje was well prepared for the confrontation with the US. “I think we played the way we intended and it worked. We just couldn’t finish it”, she said. “Something like that also depends on the opponent. I think that pride will dominate very soon.”
Midfielder Sherida Spitse shared the sentiment. “Now it is very difficult to be proud. You are a top athlete and want to win. But of course we can be proud that we came second against a very good America.”
“We had nothing to lose and could only win. But I think we have won the Netherlands over for us and we can be proud”, defender Dominique Bloodworth said to the broadcaster. “Sure we had hoped to pull a stunt here, but we fought like lionesses.”
The disappointment had Jackie Groenen, who scored the wining goal in the semi-final against Sweden on Wednesday, in tears. “If you are that close, it is a shame. With 0-0 in the break, I still had the feeling that we could pull it off in the second half. We played pretty well and it is just a shame”, she said. “Of course it was a great tournament and we did well. But it is very difficult now.”
Jill Ellis, the coach for the American team, praised the Oranje Lionesses after the match. “I have to congratulate the Netherlands. We played against a world-class team and that really made it really difficult for us in the final. Fortunately I have a great group”, she said, according to NU.nl.