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BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Dutch hammer Australia in front of record crowd

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Netherlands got the perfect farewell as they headed off to the women’s World Cup on Saturday when they beat Australia 3-0 in a friendly played in front of a record crowd of 30,640 at the Philips Stadium in Eindhoven.

Shanice van de Sanden scored twice in an outstanding display and fellow forward Vivianne Miedema got the other goal as the Dutch condemned the Matildas to a second straight heavy defeat since Ante Milicic replaced Alen Stajcic as coach.

Van de Sanden scored the opener just before half time when she ghosted behind the Australian defence to head Sherida Spitse’s free kick past goalkeeper Lydia Williams.

Miedema got the second four minutes into the second half when she turned two Matildas defenders on the edge of the box and fired a clinical finish into the far corner of Williams’s goal.

Van de Sanden’s second goal came in the 71st minute and was the pick of the three, a sumptuous strike into the roof of the net after the visitors had failed to clear a corner.

The crowd was just big enough to better the previous mark for a women’s international in the Netherlands, the 30,238 who watched the Dutch beat Northern Ireland 7-0 in a World Cup qualifier at the same ground last year.

Australia carved out some chances but there was no disguising the defensive frailties also exposed by the United States in a 5-3 defeat in April.

The Dutch, set to compete in only their second World Cup, start their campaign against New Zealand in Le Havre on June 11, while Australia play Italy in their first match in Valenciennes two days earlier.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Peter Rutherford)

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