FIFA Women's World Cup Wrap 29 June 2019

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The Netherlands joined the US women's national team and England in the semifinals of the 2019 Women's World Cup by beating Italy in a sweltering war of attrition on Saturday.

The second strike extended Netherlands' tournament-high haul of headed goals to five and confirmed their passage into the final four, where they will face either Germany or Sweden.

The Dutch have made the semifinals in only their second World Cup appearance, having reached the round of 16 in 2015.

Netherland's left-sided playmaker Lieke Martens was passed fit to play despite suffering a foot injury, picked up in goal celebrations in the previous round.

The best chance of an error-strewn opening period fell to Italy's Valentina Bergamaschi, who found herself with enough time to bring down and finish Barbara Bonansea's flick-on in the 18th minute but instead poked a weak half-volley straight at Sari van Veednendaal.

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Bergamaschi then turned provider for the Italians seven minutes before the break, laying on Valentina Giacinti only to see her AC Milan teammate scuff a presentable opportunity wide.

The introduction of Lineth Beerensteyn for the out-of-sorts right-winger Shanice van de Sanden also helped the Dutch step up the tempo but when the breakthrough came in the 70th minute it was from a set piece.

Ten minutes later, van der Gragt powered in a towering header when Spitse swung in a free kick from the right.

Spitse delivered an inviting free-kick from the left and Miedema guided a glancing header beyond the outstretched Giuliani, with the sealer from Van der Gragt following in similar circumstances 10 minutes later as Italy's impressive run came to an end.

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