Denmark got off the mark in the group stage in their Group B encounter with Finland, registering a narrow 1-0 win, thanks to a goal from the ever-reliable Pernille Harder. With this loss, Finland are all but eliminated from the competition, which doesn’t come as any surprise with all due respect.
Denmark dominated the game with more shots (19 to Finland’s 9), more possession (55%), and a much higher xG (2.4 to Finland’s 0.35). Yet, they couldn’t break down the mighty Tinja-Riikka Korpela, who’s goalkeeping display helped keep the score at 0-0 heading into half-time.
Denmark 1-0 Finland: A first win at #WEURO2022 for Denmark, who looked like being left frustrated until Pernille Harder scored a very close-range header with 18 minutes remaining. pic.twitter.com/2pOkGaV16g— The Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) July 12, 2022
Two changes in the 56th minute, in the form of Real Madrid’s Sofie Svava and Sofie Bredgard of Damallsvenskan helped Denmark up the ante as they created chance after chance. Even though they maintained the same 3-4-3 formation, they started pressing higher up the pitch and showed more intensity, attacking in numbers, winning second balls, and not letting Finland any sniff at their goal.
In the 72nd minute, a good cross was delivered from the right wing to the back post; Stine Larsen was in position to receive the cross, but Karen Holmgaard rescued the situation by leaping all over her and slamming a header onto the crossbar with enough force to cause it to bounce out in the middle and directly to Harder, who quickly retreated and sorted her feet to nod in from three yards.
Pernille Harder keeps Denmark's Euros hopes alive!— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) July 12, 2022
The Chelsea star with a HUGE goal for her country which sparks wild celebrations in front of the cameras!
Stream LIVE, or on demand after, here https://t.co/uZtokk98Z5#OptusSport #DENFIN #WEURO2022 pic.twitter.com/aOUe4psg5M
Finland looked more threatening in the dying embers of the match. Substitute Jenny Danielsson seemed to have made an immediate impact coming of the bench in the 90th minute as her crackerjack of a strike was seemingly headed into the top-right corner, but a brilliant save by Lene Christensen ensured that Denmark stay alive with three points in their kitty.
Talking about Svava’s performance, the 21-year-old was delegated to the bench this time by coach Lars Søndergaard after she played 69 minutes in the 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Germany.
Her introduction did work in favour for Denmark as she created a lot of danger with her crosses and made good use of the space that was available to her down the left-hand side. She didn’t have much to do defensively since Denmark were pretty much on top of Finland the entire game.
Denmark will have their task cut out if they are to progress to the knockout stages when they face Spain on July 16.