Netherlands, Denmark reach women’s Euro quarters

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DEVENTER: Hosts Netherlands beat neighbours Belgium 2-1 to advance to the women’s Euro quarter-finals alongside Denmark, who edged 2013 runners-up Norway 1-0 in Group A on Monday.

In Tilburg, Sherida Spitse converted a penalty — her second in two games — in the 27th minute to put the Netherlands ahead after Maud Coutereels had brought down Jackie Groenen in the box.

Tessa Wullaert put Belgium level on 59 minutes with a high chip that caught out goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal.

But Lieke Martens helped the hosts keep their perfect record of three wins from as many games with a shot that was deflected by defender Heleen Jaques over keeper Justien Odeurs.

In Deventer, Denmark’s Katrine Veje scored on five minutes, blasting her shot past Norwegian keeper Ingrid Hjelmseth after being set up by skipper Pernille Harder.

Norway wasted a spot-kick just before half-time as Danish keeper Stina Lykke Petersen kept out Caroline Graham Hansen’s shot following a foul on striker Ada Hegerberg.

Denmark finished second on six points, ahead of Belgium with three and Norway — who had advanced to the knockout stages every time since 1997 — with zero points.

The Dutch were on the front foot for most of the match, with Martens firing over on 11 minutes.

Belgium, playing their first European Championship, could have levelled earlier but Janice Cayman flicked the ball just over after the break.

In the closing minutes, Davina Philtjens curled a free-kick over the Dutch goal, Wullaert had a left-footed strike tipped over by Van Veenendaal and Jaques saw her header cleared off the goalline.

Denmark pushed for a goal from the beginning, with Harder and Stine Larsen missing the target.

Norway gradually took over, but Guro Reiten drove her two shots over.

Denmark were more dangerous, with Hjelmseth stopping shots from Sanne Troelsgaard and Frederikke Thoegersen, while Nadia Nadim fluffed a chance and was then was denied by Hjelmseth after the break.

At the other end, Graham Hansen fired over and then hit the post with a cross-cum-shot five minutes from time, with Ingrid Wold’s rebound turned onto the bar by Petersen.