The Netherlands edged New Zealand 2-1 in the opening match of Group A at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018, thanks to Eva van Deursen’s winning strike in the 78th minute.
The Orange opened the score in the 28th minute when Fenna Kalma scored the nation’s first-ever goal in a FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Kalma gave the Dutch a deserved lead with a simple tap-in from Denisa Pelova’s low cross.
New Zealand then found an equaliser right before half-time, thanks to a superb left-footed strike from Hannah Blake.
While the Dutch may have looked the slightly stronger side in the first half, the second half was more balanced, with both sides struggling to create scoring opportunities in the afternoon heat.
The Dutch finally found the breakthrough goal in the 78th minute when van Deursen scored with a well-placed shot into the far bottom corner after some neat build-up play from Caitlin Dijkstra and Kalma.
Van Deursen’s strike proved to be enough on the day, bringing the Dutch all three points in their first-ever U-20 Women’s World Cup match.