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Netherlands' Victoria Pelova in action with SA's Tiisetso Makhubela during their match on Sunday. Picture: JAIMI JOY
Netherlands' Victoria Pelova in action with SA's Tiisetso Makhubela during their match on Sunday. Picture: JAIMI JOY

Sydney — Jill Roord scored her fourth goal of the tournament as the Netherlands marched into the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup with a 2-0 win over SA at Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday.

Roord’s header gave her side an early lead and Lineth Beerensteyn added the second goal courtesy of a goalkeeping error in the second half to secure the Dutch a date with Spain in Wellington on Friday.

The 54th-ranked African champions never gave up the fight in their first appearance in the World Cup knockout stage and were always a threat on the break through their lone striker Thembi Kgatlana.

Dutch goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar was equal to everything Banyana Banyana fired at her, however, and the 2019 finalists progressed to the last eight for the second successive tournament.

The team will be welcomed home as heroes this week for their World Cup exploits, but if they are to reach their full potential they will need a professional domestic league to play in, coach Desiree Ellis said.

The team exceeded expectations by getting past the first round in Australia and New Zealand, their journey ending in the last-16 in Sydney on Sunday in a 2-0 defeat against the Netherlands.

After losing all three games in their developed countries Cup in France four years ago, SA looked a much-improved outfit as they almost held heavily fancied Sweden to draw, led against Argentina and then scored a dramatic last-gasp winner to edge out Italy for a place in the knockout stages.

But if they are to go one better next time, Ellis insists that clubs in the country must turn professional to keep up with the countries at the top of the world game.

Companies had a responsibility to invest in the women’s game, she said.

“To the sponsors. I don’t know how you can ignore something special like this,” Ellis said of her team’s tournament run.

“I don’t know how you cannot assist in getting us to climb the ladder, and not assist in getting us to be better. We still have players who have a 9-5 job, and then have to go train in the evening.

“I think that is unacceptable ...I think the corporate world needs to stand up and, and really take notice.”

The noon kickoff — prime time in the US — was tailor-made for the reigning champion Americans but they were packed off to Melbourne to face Sweden later on Sunday after the Netherlands hammered Vietnam 7-0 to win Group E.

The Dutch started well and took the lead from a corner in the ninth minute when Danielle van de Donk headed the ball towards goal and defender Lebohang Ramalepe got in goalkeeper Kaylin Swart’s way to present Roord with a simple finish.

Banyana Banyana responded immediately, striker Thembi Kgatlana’s fine first touch on a through ball giving her space to unleash a shot that forced a save out of Van Domselaar.

Kgatlana was a constant warning to the Dutch against complacency.

She got three shots away in the 10 minutes before halftime that tested Van Domselaar, who also had to be at her best to stop a Kholosa Biyana piledriver in stoppage time.

Ten minutes into the second half, winger Lieke Martens had a goal disallowed for offside, but the Dutch did double the lead in the 68th minute.

Beerensteyn was played through and shot across Swart, who appeared to have the everything under control but fumbled her catch and watched the ball squirt into the net.

SA again responded to conceding a goal but Van Domselaar was again equal to it, getting down low to turn Linda Motlhalo’s low drive about the post five minutes later.

Banyana Banyana had one last chance to get on the scoreboard in stoppage time, almost inevitably through Kgatlana, but there was no way past Van Domselaar.

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