Netherlands' Stefanie van der Gragt scores late tying goal after committing costly handball

Netherlands' hopes of advancing seemed slim after Stefanie van der Gragt's handball helped give Spain a late lead in the quarterfinals of the Women's World Cup. She quickly got redemption

Stefanie Van Der Gragt
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Stefanie van der Gragt had the Netherlands World Cup hopes in her hands.

Quite literally at first, after she was called for a handball in the box that led to the go-ahead penalty kick in the 81st minute of a quarterfinal match with Spain in the 2023 Women's World Cup.



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Minutes later, however, her hands were clean. The 30-year-old defender broke free to score the tying goal that forced extra time after a 1-1 draw in regulation.

With the Netherlands desperate for a goal in the opening minute of stoppage time, Victoria Pelova sent a through ball to van der Gragt, who fired a strike past a diving keeper. It was the second goal of the tournament for van der Gragt, who got the ultimate redemption after nearly costing her country the chance to advance to the semifinals.

The handball came during a cross attempt in the box that struck the hand of van der Gragt. Mariona Caldentey converted the ensuing penalty kick, giving Spain a 1-0 lead to put them within minutes of their first semifinal appearance.

The two teams, who were scoreless in the first half after Spain's Alba Redondo hit the post twice on one possession, now head to extra time. The winner advances to the semifinals to play either Japan or Sweden on Tuesday in Auckland.

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