Mark Parsons: Netherlands gaining energy after reaching Euro 2022 quarter-finals

Netherlands manager Mark Parsons believes his team are “gaining energy” after securing a place in the quarter-finals of Euro 2022 with a 4-1 win against Switzerland.

The Dutch clinched a spot in the knockout stages as runners-up in Group C thanks to a destructive performance from substitutes Romee Leuchter and Victoria Pelova.

With the scores level at 1-1 entering the final stages of the game – after an unfortunate own goal from Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic was cancelled out by Geraldine Reutler – the Dutch duo scored three goals between them in the final moments to set up a clash with France.

Parsons admitted the game would provide a good test for his side and told a press conference: “France are a top opponent and so are we – they won’t want to play us.

“We’ve got a big recovery, we need to recharge, we’ve gone through a lot. We’re closer than ever, then we start thinking about France.”

The Netherlands’ win at Bramall Lane was played in front of a crowd of 22,596 – a new record for a non-host European Championship match outside of the final – and Parsons is relishing facing Les Bleus in the knockouts.

He said: “That’s why we said this tournament was going to be the most exciting in women’s football.

Netherlands players celebrate
Netherlands players celebrated victory over Switzerland that saw them progress (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“You saw Netherlands-Sweden, now Netherlands-France. A new record crowd without the first team the Oranje fans and English fans sneaking in orange.

“This team is gaining energy. We weren’t going to start the best team, we’re still not the best team we’re just trying to be good enough to beat the best teams and France is going to give us a good test.”

After picking up one point in Group C, the result meant Switzerland failed to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition, however Swiss manager Nils Nielsen was proud of his team’s fighting effort against the reigning European Champions.

He told a press conference: “We wanted to take the initiative because if we let Holland play. they’re too good.

“We needed to stress them a bit and in some periods of the game, we didn’t do that.

“They had their moments but we definitely had our moments. It was quite interesting to watch. If I was a neutral, I’d have definitely enjoyed it.”