Women's World Cup: Netherlands' Sarina Wiegman urges women to show courage

The two teams in Sunday's Women's World Cup final will both be coached by females, the first time that has happened since 2003.

Sarina Wiegman: "What we need to do as women is show that we have qualities." Photo: Getty Images

Sarina Wiegman guided Netherlands to a Women's World Cup final against Jill Ellis' United States and then urged females to be courageous in order to obtain top positions in football.

For the first time since 2003 two women will be in the dugout for Sunday's showpiece after Wiegman's Dutch side beat Sweden 1-0 thanks to an extra-time winner from Jackie Groenen. Ellis, who was in charge when USA won the tournament in 2015, had led her team back to the final following a 2-1 victory over England 24 hours earlier.

Wiegman is proud of the fact that both finalists will be coached by women and said she wants females to be fearless when it comes to taking leading posts. "Of course, I'm really happy I'm in the final. Jill Ellis is in the final too with USA," she told a news conference.

"I think if you want to make it a bigger picture, it's good that women get the opportunity to develop — as players, as coaches or in other parts of football and in society. I think that's really good.

REPORT | Netherlands 1-0 Sweden

"There's been more effort to get more women involved in higher functions, which I think is good. I also think women need to have the guts to make choices and take risks to go for higher positions. What we need to do as women is show that we have qualities."

 

Sweden faced USA in the group stage but was unable to seal another clash with the defending champion as Netherlands went up a gear in extra time of a tense and tight contest. Having seen his side play against both of the teams that made it through to the final, Sweden head coach Peter Gerhardsson thinks the game could be decided by the fitness of the respective countries' key forwards.

Megan Rapinoe missed the win over England with a hamstring strain but trained on Wednesday, while Barcelona forward Lieke Martens came off at half-time against the Swedes due to a foot injury that she hopes will not prevent her from playing in the showpiece.

"Both teams play with three forwards and the US have had a few injuries now with their forwards and that is also true for Netherlands," Gerhardsson noted.

"These players are incredibly important, they could decide a match. Before the final I'm sure it will be a struggle to get these best players in shape. Those are the players that can decide a match, [with] that little touch and brilliant shot from long distance.

"That's what could make the difference — those who have got the best players up towards the top of their game will decide the game."