Netherlands advanced to the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup on Sunday with a 2-0 win over South Africa.
Jill Roord and Lineth Beerensteyn scored in each half at the Sydney Football Stadium to secure the 2019 runners-up a place in the last eight.
But South Africa, one of the surprise teams of the tournament, gave the Dutch a scare, forcing goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar into a string of saves to keep Thembi Kgatlana at bay.
Netherlands lost to the U.S. team in the World Cup final four years ago and look like contenders again after finishing above the Americans in Group E.
South Africa had already exceeded expectations by advancing to the knockout stage for the first time after its dramatic 3-2 win over Italy in its final group game.
Roord scored in the ninth minute with a header from close range.
Kgatlana had a series of chances as South Africa searched for an equalizer before the break.
Netherlands regained control in the second half and scored its second in the 68th after an error from keeper Kaylin Swart.
Beerensteyn’s weak shot should have been easily caught by Swart, but she allowed it to squirm out of her control and over the line.