Dutch coach unsurprised about progress after reaching maiden World Cup semis

Dutch coach unsurprised about progress after reaching maiden World Cup semis

Agency News

Valenciennes, France, Jun 30: The Netherlands' head coach Sarina Wiegman mentioned that she felt more proud than surprised about her team's eye-catching improvement over the four-year span as they made into the Women's World Cup semifinals with a 2-0 win over Italy here on Saturday.

The Dutch side debuted on the World Cup four years ago and secured the final four spot in their second appearance."I'm not really surprised, but I'm very proud of the team," Wiegman said at a press conference."I think we have very good players but things have changed so much since the European Championships (in 2017), we've gained a lot of confidence but we also needed to improve our game to perform on the level that we're at in this World Cup.

"We have had some moments where we were lucky but there's such a great team spirit and there's such a great belief that we can perform well. The word proud is more suitable than surprised," added the 49-year-old.Having reached their first ever World Cup semifinals, the Netherlands will take on Sweden in Lyon on Wednesday."Winning helps especially mentally. We have to set the new goal and work on it," Wiegman pointed out.

"I didn't expect to be in the semifinals of this World Cup," said the young Dutch forward Vivianne Miedema, Player of the Match."We've been complaining that we're not playing the best football but in the end we're in the semis. We've done amazing and we can be really proud. We need to focus on the next game," she said. (UNI-Xinhua)