Netherlands forward Lineth Beerensteyn has taken aim at the eliminated USWNT, saying the two-times reigning champions had a “really big mouth” ahead of the Women’s World Cup.
The Dutch drew 1-1 with the U.S. to finish ahead ahead of them in Group E during the first stage of the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
The Americans were then eliminated by Sweden in the last 16 after a dramatic penalty shootout — the first time in history they had gone out before the tournament semi-finals.
Beerensteyn, who scored in a last-16 win over South Africa that booked a quarter-final date with Spain, said: “The first moment when I heard that they were out, I was just thinking, ‘Yes,’ because from the start of this tournament they have already a really big mouth, they were talking already about the final and stuff.
“I was just thinking, you first have to show it on the pitch before you’re talking. And I’m not being rude in that way. I have still a lot of respect for them. But now they are out of the tournament.”
The Netherlands were eliminated in the semi-finals by the U.S. at the World Cup four years ago.
“For me, yeah, it’s a relief and for them, it’s a thing that they have to take with them in the future,” the Juventus striker said. “Don’t start to talk about something that’s far away, and I hope that they will learn from that.”
The USWNT were the World Cup favourites but had faced criticism during and after the tournament, from former players in Carli Lloyd to former presidents in Donald Trump.
Megan Rapinoe, who said her penalty miss and the defeat was like a “sick joke,” will now bow out after announcing her retirement before the tournament, but the future of head coach Vlatko Andonovski remains unclear.
The winner of the Netherlands vs Spain tie will play Japan or Sweden in the semi-finals.
Linehan: This World Cup’s anti-USWNT outrage isn’t just hateful, it’s irrational
(Photo: FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)