Germany was able to outlast Spain and capture three crucial points in what looks like a very rugged set of teams in Group B. Playing without star midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan, Germany knew it would have its hands full against an up-and-coming side from Spain. Marozsan’s broken toe might have hurt the player, but it did not break the spirit of the German women, who struggled but always kept pushing forward. Below are some observations on the match.
Germany out of sync, but determined
It was not the smoothest game from Germany, which had trouble linking up early on, but Germany kept battling. It was fitting that Sara Däbritz’s goal came off of a rebound, because this contest felt like it would take a grinding type of goal to win.
Alexandra Popp put a header on Spanish goalkeeper Sandra Paños and Däbritz was there for the timely put-back which proved to be the game-winner:
Germany take the lead!!!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 12, 2019
Spain fail to clear the ball after the initial save by Paños and Sara Däbritz pounces for the opening goal. pic.twitter.com/hzeQLofLWD
Däbritz, who is leaving Bayern Munich for Paris Saint-Germain this summer, did a tremendous job in trying to cover for the loss of Marozsan, whose presence was sorely missed.
In the end, it was Germany’s experience and discipline that made the difference, despite the fact that the Germans were outplayed for long portions of the game.
Spain impressive, but unrefined
Spain is one of the countries that has realized that if you invest in the women’s game and provide better coaching, facilities, and resources...maybe — newsflash — the program can grow and develop.
While they only managed to get two shots on frame for the match, Spain was persistent, had good ideas, and pushed Germany right until the final whistle. You could make a strong argument that Spain was the better team in the first half despite entering the locker room down a goal.
Overall, Spain had 64% of the possession and almost out-German’d Germany. Spain could be a tough draw for anyone should it advance to the knockout stage.