Folks, if you haven’t been paying attention to this summer’s excellent Women’s European Championship, you’re missing out on some high-class football — as well as the makings of a special run for the German national team. We’re here to catch you up on how it went down in Germany’s 3-0 brushing aside of Finland to close out an immaculate Group Stage.
Technical prowess leads the way
Against a Finland team determined to defend in numbers, Germany were made to work for it. A fair amount of intricacy seemed required to lure them out of position or lull them asleep in front of goal, and that’s exactly how the opener happened near the end of the first half:
Crossing was the order of the day and we love a fullback to fullback connection — Robin Gosens, anyone? Here it was Sophia Kleinherne (Eintracht Frankfurt) scoring in her first start of the tournament, supplied by Bayern Munich’s Giulia Gwinn, who dummied herself into position. Vfl Wolfsburg’s Svenja Huth pulled the strings marvelously.
Comfortable dominance without enough finishing touch?
It’s a credit to Finland that this match didn’t get out of hand, though there might be moments for the Germans to scrutinize.
I think in moments of transition, especially, Germany could be more incisive. A first half charge through an empty midfield slowed down just enough for Finland to gather numbers. In the second half, a driving Jule Brand (Vfl Wolfsburg) missed her right-back down the wing and ran herself out of the play. Not much to nitpick, to be sure.
On the other hand, the thought that Germany can become even more ruthless should be a alert the remaining field.
Finland 0-3 Germany— The Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) July 16, 2022
Not all dominance ends 8-0. pic.twitter.com/RnEYasIDt3
A chance to work with different balances in midfield and attack
Due to injury and suspension, two past subs earned starts next to Olympique Lyon’s Sara Däbritz. That’s Wolfsburg’s Lena Lattwein and Bayern’s Linda Dallman, and the latter was named Player of the Match for her contributions:
Linda Dallmann vs Finland - Visa's Player of the Match— Bayern Frauen (@miasanfrauen) July 16, 2022
36 passes completed
80% pass accuracy
2 chances creatd
3 total shots (3 blocked)
1/1 dribble completed
2/6 (33%) duels won
We also saw more of Wolfsburg forward Tabea Waßmuth, who subbed on for Popp in the previous game but this time played alongside her.
Germany may yet find themselves without a traditional nine or their top-choice six again in a future game — or, they may find the need to throw in a few tactical wrinkles to adjust their offense. So this was an excellent chance for these slightly different combinations to gel together on the field.
Popp prop non-stop
This is an Alexandra Popp appreciation segment. After missing out in 2013 and 2017 due to injury, the 31-year-old striker is making a romp of her EURO moment. All three goals came from headers, each more scintillating than the last. She’s the lady with the hops. What more to say? You just love to see it.
In fact, you owe it to yourself to find her goal in the full highlights (below!)
It’s Austria next in the Quarter-Finals on July 21! Are you feeling it yet? Who was your Player of the Match?