Netherlands women's national football team

Netherlands
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Oranje (Orange)
Leeuwinnen (Lionesses)[1]
AssociationRoyal Dutch Football Association
(Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachSarina Wiegman
CaptainSari van Veenendaal
Most capsSherida Spitse (169)
Top scorerVivianne Miedema (61)
FIFA codeNED
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 3 Increase 5 (12 July 2019)[2]
Highest3[2] (July 2019)
Lowest20[2] (June 2008)
First international
 Netherlands 
(Netherlands 12–0 Israel 
(Zaandam, Netherlands; 22 August 1977)
 Netherlands 13–1 Macedonia 
(Zwolle, Netherlands; 29 October 2009)
Biggest defeat
 Netherlands 
(Borås, Sweden; 26 September 1981)
World Cup
Appearances2 (first in 2015)
Best resultRunners-up (2019)
European Championship
Appearances3 (first in 2009)
Best resultWinners (2017)
Netherlands women's national football team in May 2014

The Netherlands women's national football team (Dutch: Nederlands vrouwenvoetbalelftal) is directed by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB), which is a member of UEFA and FIFA.

In 1971, the team played the first women's international football match recognized by FIFA against France.[3] They have played at the final tournament of the 2009, 2013, and 2017 UEFA Women's Championship and were champions in 2017. They have played at the final tournament of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup for the first time, and reached thirteenth place. They have also played at the final tournament in the 2019 edition, losing 2-0 the final against the United States.

The nicknames for the team are Oranje (Orange) and Leeuwinnen (Lionesses).[1] Sarina Wiegman has been head coach since January 2017.[4] As of July 2019, the team is ranked number 3 in the FIFA Women's World Rankings.

History

On 17 April 1971, the Dutch team played the first women's international football match recognized by FIFA against France.[3] The match took place in Hazebrouck, France and resulted in a 4–0 defeat for the Netherlands.[5]

In 1980s and 1990s, the team failed to qualify for the final tournaments of UEFA's European Championship and later also for the FIFA's World Championship.[5] The Royal Dutch Football Association began major investments into women's football in the 2000s, culminating in the establishment of the Women's Eredivisie in 2007 (which was merged with the Belgian league in 2012).[6][7] The team qualified for the UEFA Women's Euro 2009 and reached third place together with Norway, after England (second place) and Germany (first place).[8] The team again qualified for the UEFA Women's Euro 2013, but did not advance after the group stage.[9]

The team qualified for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup and reached thirteenth place, after having lost their first match in the knockout stage to Japan.[10]

In 2017, the Netherlands won their first major women's trophy, ending Germany's seemingly unbeatable reign over the UEFA Women's Championship and surprising friend and foe alike by winning the tournament on home soil, beating Denmark 4–2 in the final.[11] The successful campaign in which Oranje managed to win all of their matches highly contributed to the popularity of women's football in the Netherlands.[12]

In 2018, the Netherlands finished second in their UEFA Qualifying Group behind Norway. Therefore, they had to go through the UEFA play-off in order to qualify for the 2019 World Cup featuring the Switzerland, Belgium and Denmark are the other teams in the play-off.[13]. The Netherlands beat Denmark 4-1 on aggregate in the play-off semi-finals before beating Switzerland 4-1 on aggregate in the play-off final to qualify.[14]

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