Jackie Groenen optimistic ahead of World Cup final clash with United States

Holland’s Jackie Groenen believes the United States can be beaten after firing her country into the World Cup final.

The Manchester United player scored the only goal of the 1-0 win against Sweden in the ninth minute of extra time following a tense affair.

The United States, who saw off Phil Neville’s England following a 2-1 victory, are set to start as the favourites to win the tournament showpiece on Sunday.

“Of course we watched America’s game against England,” said Groenen. “They are a really strong team, and that is obvious.

“But it is one game and there are possibilities. I hope we will be able to play our own game, and who knows what will happen?

“It is amazing to be able to be in the final. I am so proud. It is so nice to be part of a team with so much confidence that we give to each other.

“The final will be difficult, but it really will be incredible to win.”

Holland’s semi-final encounter ended on a sour note after Sweden’s former Manchester City midfielder Kosovare Asllani was carried off on a stretcher following an awkward landing.

There was no immediate update on her condition.

“You are not angry, sad, or disappointed, but of course I am not happy,” said Sweden manager Peter Gerhardsson.

“I feel empty right now, whether that has to do with the match or Kosovare, I am not sure, but that is how I feel.”

Looking ahead to the play-off against England on Saturday, he added: “Ending up third feels a lot better than fourth so we will do everything in our power to achieve that and win the bronze medal.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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