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

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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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