by Johnathan Stack (13/7/22)
Above: Germany show their joy at Brentford last night after defeating Spain. Photo: Euro 2022.
The Brentford Community Stadium was the scene for Germany’s second group game against Spain. Going into this Group B encounter, one goal split the sides in the table.
Germany head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg was forced into making a change to the side that breezed past Finland, as striker Lea Schüller tested positive for Coronavirus yesterday, so Alexandra Popp was brought into the side and took the armband.
This was a big game in West London, with both teams going for a quarter-final spot. If the Germans had put the whole tournament on notice after matchday one, they have certainly put their names in the hat as favourites after last night’s win.
They looked very good, especially defensively, and have kept back-to-back clean sheets in this tournament thus far while scoring goals in the process.
It must not have been easy in the Germany camp in the last 24 hours, with one of their key players being sent into isolation, they came out and put on another impressive display.
Carrying on from the Denmark game, the Germans came out pressing putting Spain under pressure and it definitely paid off as three minutes into the game Sandra Panos was hustled and harried into making a monumental error trying to play the ball out from the back. Her pass was straight into the path of Klara Bühl who got around Spain centre-back Irene Paredes to send the ball into the back of the net.
Germany doubled their lead when skipper Alexandra Popp headed in from a corner in the 37th minute. She is certainly making the most of this tournament having missed out in 2013 and 2017 by bagging her second goal of Euro 2022.
Spain brought Merle Frohms into action into the second half but failed to conjure up anything of significance. Next up for Germany is Finland then the runner-up from Group A – either Austria or Norway in the quarterfinals.
The way that Germany is playing they look like they could make it a ninth European Championship title and the way the host England are currently playing all roads may well lead to a final between the two sides at Wembley Stadium on 31st July.
Speaking after the game Germany coach Voss-Tecklenburg said “Our game plan worked and Bühl’s goal played into our hands. Based on our willingness to defend and the way in which we played, I have to pay the team a huge compliment. It was incredible. This team is prepared to be disciplined on the day and are completely invested. That feels good.”
Voss-Tecklenburg will be looking to get her tactics right and make a clean sweep of Group B against Finland on Saturday in Milton Keynes. She will also be keeping a close eye on her squad and hoping she doesn’t lose any further key players to Coronavirus.
Teams: GERMANY (4-3-3): Frohms, Hendrich, Hegering, Oberdorf, Popp, Huth, Däbritz, Gwinn, Rauch, Bühl, Magull. Substitutes: Anyomi, Berger, Brand, Dallmann, Doorsoun-Khajeh, Freigang, Kleinherne, Lattwein, Lohmann, Schult, Wassmuth.
Scorers: Bühl 3’ Popp 36’.
SPAIN (4-5-1): Panos, Batlle, Paredes, Leon, Ouahabi, Aleixandri, Guijarro, Bonmanti, Caldentey, S.Garcia, L.Garcia. Substitutes: Gallardo, Rodriguez, Andres, Guerrero, Gonzalez, Del Castillo, Cardona, Sarriegi, Abelleira, Carmona, Pereira, Pina.
Referee: Stéphanie Frappart.