Sarina Wiegman believes that the Netherlands was much better on Tuesday against Russia than on Slovenia four days earlier. The Orange beat the direct competitor in Eindhoven with 2-0.
"It was all much sharper and better organized today," the national coach analyzed at her press conference. "This opponent was also of a completely different level."
The Dutch team won a 2-4 visit to Slovenia on Friday, but then needed two goals from Sherida Spitse in the final quarter to prevent a loss of points.
The reigning European champion never ran into trouble against Russia. Daniëlle van de Donk (twelfth minute) and Vivianne Miedema (60th minute) ensured a simple victory.
"Some things went wrong", Wiegman acknowledged. "But if you score twice and keep the zero, I think you can speak of a business victory."
See also: Orange women take big step to European Championship with victory over competitor Russia
"Miedema wanted to play for her grandfather"
Russia certainly did not come to Eindhoven to play offensive football. Even after the early goal against, the opponent was mainly concerned with defending.
"It doesn't make it any easier if an opponent completely digs in," said Wiegman. "But if Russia does not intend to play a little further ahead, then we will not take any risks."
For Miedema, who took the second Orange goal with a good header, it was an emotional evening. The striker lost her grandfather last weekend, but, according to the national coach, insisted on playing. After her hit, Miedema was moved to tears.
"We are in the Netherlands and so we gave her the opportunity to go to her family. Those are things you shouldn't take away from anyone. After that, she decided to participate, which her grandfather would have liked."
With the victory over direct competitor Russia, the Orange women made a major step towards the European Championship. With the maximum score of twelve points from four competitions, the Netherlands is the sovereign leader in group A of the European Championship qualification.