For almost 100 minutes, the Netherlands and Sweden were locked in a battle of attrition to reach the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ Final against USA – with neither team able to break the deadlock. Then the ball arrived at the feet of Jackie Groenen 25 metres from goal. She took two steps before bravely taking the shot, watching with delight as it rocketed past Hedvig Lindahl in the Sweden goal and nestled in the bottom left-hand corner.
“I saw a nice angle,” Groenen said after the match. “We’ve been discussing this for a couple of weeks now, that I need to take shots more often. The ball just came really nicely, and I thought, ‘Let’s do this.’ “
It was the first World Cup goal for the 24-year-old, who spent the past four years at 1. FFC Frankfurt before joining Manchester United just prior to France 2019. Yet it was also one of the most important strikes in the history of Dutch women’s football, enabling the Netherlands to win 1-0 and follow up their UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 triumph with a second-place finish at France 2019.
Does Groenen’s fantastic finish deserve the France 2019 Goal of the Tournament Award? You decide!