Martens hopeful over final involvement despite lingering foot problem

By Sports Desk July 03, 2019

Lieke Martens is counting on Netherlands' medical staff to get her fit for the Women's World Cup final after the Barcelona star lasted just 45 minutes in Wednesday's last-four win over Sweden.

The 26-year-old has been troubled by a foot injury since team-mate Jill Roord stepped on her toe when celebrating Martens' late winner in the last-16 victory against Japan.

Martens did not train prior to facing Italy in the next round and though she completed 90 minutes then, the forward was withdrawn at half-time on Wednesday due to the pain.

Netherlands went on to win 1-0 in extra time thanks to a goal from Jackie Groenen midweek, though there will be concern over whether Martens can face the United States in Sunday's final.

"As a player you always want to play the biggest game of your career and this [final] is one of the biggest ones I'm going to hopefully play," she said.

"I'm going to do the recovery with the medical staff, I really believe in them, I'm looking forward every single day."

Martens admitted she had no problem being replaced by Roord at half-time given she had been feeling pain in her foot from the start of the game.

"Didn't feel good," Martens replied when asked about her foot.

"For me, it's easy. If I'm not 100 per cent fit then I want another girl to come in and give 100 per cent. That's easy.

"The most important thing is the team is better when one girl is 100 per cent."

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