There was a lot of excitement ahead of the second Group B clash at the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022. Group B, comprising of Spain, Germany, Denmark, and Finland, was termed the ‘group of death’ owing to the talent the former three aforementioned nations possess.
Spain, as expected, put Finland to the sword in a 4-1 win earlier today. All eyes were on the Germany vs. Denmark clash. With voracious crowd support for both sides, we were all set for an exciting game of football.
However, the game didn’t live up to its billing, with Germany swatting Denmark aside in a ruthless performance, putting four past Danish goalkeeper Lene Christensen. All doubts that cynics had over Germany’s chances leading into the tournament were brushed aside in a performance that will be talked about for days to come. Germany absolutely pressured Denmark into submission, and made them feel claustrophobic from the first whistle to the final one in a scintillating display of efficient gegenpressing and high-intensity football.
Lina Magull, who won the player of the match award for her world-class performance, opened the scoring after a terrible back pass to Stine Ballisager Pedersen, who couldn’t win her tackle against the on-rushing Magull, who absolutely smothered the ball from just 10 yards to make it 1-0 for Germany.
Denmark failed to string two consecutive passes (metaphorically, not literally) throughout the game. They were at sixes and sevens facing the relentless pressure from Germany forwards. The German press was extremely cohesive, but Denmark, at the same time, panicked every time an opposition player would try to press. They were simply disoriented. What also didn’t help is Denmark’s 3-4-3. It played right into the hands of Germany.
Amidst all the chaos, Sofie Svava had a lamentable performance, just like the other Danish players. Her advanced positioning meant she did little to contribute defensively, although there were a few moments here and there where she showed strength and agility to win her duel. She had little-to-no involvement in the attack, and was completely thrown out of the game due to Germany’s shape and tactics.
Svava and Denmark would want to move on from this loss as quickly as possible since they still have to face Spain, who will prove to be an equally stern test, if not more, and keep their hopes of progressing to the next round alive.