FINAL! Initial thoughts and observations:
- Masterclass. Sheer masterclass. Spain dominate possession but Germany were quickest to pounce and clinically efficient.
- Defensive questions abounded for Germany prior to this game, but they have a lot to feel really good about today. Spain have class and technical ability in abundance, but were largely denied, and not by luck.
- Spain may have been one of the top pre-tournament favorites. This is a real statement from a team that may have been under-estimated.
- Alexandra Popp wearing Lea Schüller’s #7 backwards after the game to give her teammate a classy shout-out! Popp now has two goals in two games.
- Group B is now clinched for Germany, meaning they’ll avoid England — last seen taking down a decent Norway 8-0 — in the next round.
- Two of Germany’s three yellow cards from Denmark were converted into suspensions against Finland. Some would view that as a positive (Rauch and Oberdorf are now sure to come back for the knockouts, while Hegering will need to be careful against Finland) but I’m not so sure. You never know when and where Covid might hit, so it’s better to avoid the yellows when you can.
90’: Three minutes of stoppage time to go. Spain are still pressing but this defensive performance from Germany is something else. Hope is surely fading.
86’: There’s Lena Oberdorf’s yellow card. She’s toed the line with a few challenges now but has played well overall. Unfortunately, this means she’ll miss the next game as well.
Jule Brand is coming for Klara Bühl — that’s the final German substitution.
81’: Waßmuth gets slipped in behind after a long ball, but it’s ruled offside! The flag only comes up after she rounds the keeper and tucks it home.
Germany are trying to see the game out, disrupting any hint of momentum and cycling it back to the keeper any chance they get.
71’: Another ball over the top finds Caldentey behind the Bayern back line and she hits an incredible volley on target! It’s matched by a super save from Frohms.
Now Däbritz is coming off for Bayern Munich’s Linda Dallman.
69’: Svenja Huth nearly nicks the ball off the last CB on a pass back but it just fails to bounce her way. Fatigue setting in for both teams, with some less than sharp passing.
60’: Frohms dashes way, way beyond her box to cut out a long ball. Barely in time. Both teams about to make substitutions now.
Sophia Kleinherne comes on for left-back Rauch, who will miss next game after getting a yellow in each of the first two. It’ll be a different look up top as well, with goal-scorer Alexandra Popp making way for Tabea Waßmuth.
57’: Another good Spanish change cut out and turns into a German counter. Alexandra Popp is brought down to howls of protest from the crowd, but no card. Looked like Paredes stopped a clear scoring chance, as Popp would have been through on goal.
56’: Three corners in quick succession for Spain, and the third results in a dangerous header down right in front of goal. León latches on to a follow-up but a hand-ball gives Germany a breather.
53’: Paredes hits a ball into the box for a looping run from Caldentey, but it’s a little too far and the chance evaporates.
46’: Second half underway in Brentford. Lina Magull, MVP of the Denmark game, makes way for Lena Lattwein.
Spain have had the lion’s share of possession but it’s the Germans who have put away two golden chances. Spain have had very dangerous moments, to be sure, but it’s all for naught and they have a mountain to climb in the second half.
First half masterclass from Germany on how to play the game in front of you not the game you want to play.— Ann Odong (@AnnOdong) July 12, 2022
Even when Spain have the ball they dictate the spaces they can go.
37’: Alexandra Popp tucks a corner neatly away into the corner behind the Spanish keeper! It’s 2-0 to Germany!
3’: In the third minute Bayern Munich star Klara Bühl gave Germany a 1-0 lead.
Lineups are out!
Germany (4-3-3): Frohms (GK); Rauch - Hegering - Hendrich - Gwinn; Däbritz - Oberdorf - Magull; Bühl - Popp (c) - Huth
Spain (4-3-3): Paños (GK); Ouahabi - León - Paredes(c) - Batlle; Guijarro - Aleixandri - Bonmatí; Caldentey - L.García - S.García
Alexandra Popp for Lea Schüller (COVID) is the only change for Germany, while Spain swap out two of their front three and add Laia Aleixandri into midfield.
Germany vs Spain: The battle for Group B
It’s here — one of the most hotly-anticipated matches of the European Championship group stages. Spain and Germany are two of the top contenders and each dispatched their first opponents with ease. Spain made short work of Finland 4-1, while Germany rolled over Denmark 4-0.
Germany have been dealt a blow with Bayern Munich star striker Lea Schüller testing positive for COVID-19 and will have to be on the watch for further transmission within the team. They do have a highly capable replacement in Alexandra Popp, as well as less traditional options to lead the forward line.
Spain are already without one of the best players in the world — FC Barcelona midfielder Alexia Putellas suffered a devastating ACL tear just days before the tournament began. They’ve never defeated the Germans in top-level play, but expect to assert far more control over proceedings than Denmark managed.
“We know that Spain will have a lot of the ball in certain areas of our half,” said Germany defender Sara Doorsoun, speaking to UEFA.com. “We will have to use our possession very cleverly.”
But above all is an abiding sense of optimism in the DFB camp. Said Doorsoun: “There is really something coming together here.”
Location: Brentford, England
Time: 3pm EST, 8pm local time
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