This is why you do not commit to defending for 70 percent of a match. Late in an exciting 0-0 deadlock, New Zealand was managing to hold off the vaunted Netherlands attack through a combination of parking the bus, some nifty goalkeeping from Erin Nayler, and solid individual showcases from center backs Rebekah Stott and Abby Erceg. Squeezing out a scoreless draw against one of the tournament’s best teams would have been massive for the Kiwis, but a team that stops attacking and decides to absorb pressure instead is at the mercy of any of the many very stupid things that can happen during a match.
Case in point, Jill Roord’s game-winning goal, which came on what was maybe the 12th best chance the Netherlands had on the day:
The Netherlands couldn’t break down New Zealand for 91 minutes, but in the end, a sloppy bit of cross defense from the Ferns left Roord relatively open in the box. After Erceg got turned around by the first ball into Lineth Beerensteyn, the Dutch midfielder’s weak but perfectly placed header found the back of the net. Yikes.