Dutch stars laud amazing Van Domselaar display

Lineth Beerensteyn, Esmee Brugts and Sherida Spitse hail the superb performance of Netherlands goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar against South Africa.

  • Dutch goalkeeper starred in last-16 win over South Africa

  • Esmee Brugts, Sherida Spitse and Lineth Beerensteyn speak to FIFA

  • Netherlands will face Spain in quarter-finals on Friday


Anyone unable to watch the Netherlands’ compelling last-16 clash with South Africa may take a glance at the 2-0 scoreline and suspect the pre-match favourites had a rather comfortable afternoon. Goals in each half from Jill Roord and Lineth Beerensteyn set up a heavyweight quarter-final showdown with Spain – but the result doesn’t tell half the story of the game.


South Africa’s vibrant and penetrative attacking play posed a constant threat to Andries Jonker’s side, and they finished the match having had 14 shots to the Netherlands’ 12. In Dutch goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar, however, they faced a formidable – and insurmountable – opponent.

The 23-year-old was in inspired form, producing a string of outstanding saves to keep Banyana Banyana at bay and record her third clean sheet from four matches at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™.


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Speaking to FIFA, the Netherlands’ 20-year-old sensation Esmee Brugts explained how Van Domeselaar spreads calm throughout the team.

“It’s fantastic to have such a great goalkeeper behind you,” she said. “It gives you a lot of relief and confidence. She is so amazing. In the previous games, she didn’t have to do so much, but in this game she showed why she is so good. I’m very, very happy to be playing with her.”

Van Domselaar’s captain, Sherida Spitse, also paid tribute to her performance.

“That is why she is our No1 goalkeeper,” said the Netherlands’ record appearance-holder. “She did a very good job and I am really thankful for that.”

Van Domselaar made her national-team breakthrough at last year’s UEFA Women’s EURO. Having only won one senior cap prior to the competition, a tournament-ending injury to Sari van Veenendaal early in the Netherlands’ first game thrust her into the spotlight.

Then aged 22, Van Domselaar stepped up to the mantle with the authority of someone far beyond her years, excelling during her nation’s run to the quarter-finals.

If the Dutch are to go beyond the last eight at Australia & New Zealand 2023, they will need to overcome a Spanish outfit who dazzled in a 5-1 victory over Switzerland on Saturday. With Van Domselaar as the last line of defence, though, confidence within the camp is high.

“She is such a strong goalkeeper,” said forward Beerensteyn. “She was amazing against South Africa. She had a bit more to do and you could see she has a lot of quality. She saved us a lot of times.”

Netherlands captain Spitse admitted her team did not perform to the levels they are capable of in the last-16 encounter, but took heart from how they improved as the contest wore on.


“Especially in the first half, it was a tough game, but that was more because we were not good with the ball,” she explained. “When we lost it, South Africa played the long ball behind our backline, then they have a lot of speed in attack. In the second half, we kept the ball much better, then when we made it 2-0 and we had little bit more space to play in.”

Brugts added: “In the first half, I think we played against ourselves. South Africa’s counter-attack was very strong, though. They have so much speed and they are very quick to recover the ball. In the second half, we played our own game, which made it easier for us to create chances and score.”



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