Defending champions the Netherlands drew their Euros opener against a resilient Sweden side which will give hope to their competing rivals.
Jill Roord canceled out Jonna Andersson’s opener for the Netherlands as the game ended 1-1 draw in the heavyweight Group C clash.
Both teams started cautiously given the gravity of the situation and after a dull first half at Bramall Lane, the game sprung to life when Sweden took a deserved lead in the 35th minute through Andersson who smashed home from close range following some excellent wing play from Kosovare Asllani.
Lina Hurtig almost got a second with a diving header minutes later before Danielle van de Donk blazed over for the Dutch, capping a miserable half in which their goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal and defender Aniek Nouwen were substituted due to injury.
Dutch were the better side following the break and hit back through Roord in the 52nd minute after she was brilliantly set up by Arsenal forward Vivianne Miedema.
Miedema grew into the game as the half wore on, driving at the Swedish defense with real menace, and nearly played in Roord for the winner but the Wolfsburg player was denied by a superbly timed tackle from Magdalena Eriksson.
Neither side could add to their tally and the teams shared a point each for their efforts.
The Netherlands Euros opener was preceded by their group rivals Portugal and Switzerland which finished 2 goals apiece.
Switzerland had the perfect start when Coumba Sow pounced on a poor defensive clearance in the second minute to fire home from outside the box before the Swiss struck again three minutes later when defender Rahel Kiwic headed home at the far post from a free-kick.
The Portuguese halved the deficit shortly before the hour mark when Diana Gomes saw her header from a corner saved but followed up to bundle it over the line. Scorelines were leveled in the 65th minute with Tatiano Pinto sending in a sublime cross from the right that was turned in by Jessica Silva.
Portugal will next take on the Netherlands while Switerzland faces Europe’s top-ranked team Sweden next.