UEFA Women's EURO 2022 daily preview: What to look out for on Tuesday
Monday, July 11, 2022
Germany and Spain face off after impressive opening performances, from which Denmark and Finland seek to bounce back.
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It was designated the compulsory 'group of death' before UEFA Women's EURO 2022 but after Friday's openers, two of the competition's big beasts were pretty bloodthirsty when Group B began.
Spain conceded in the opening minute to Finland but roared back to win 4-1 and then Germany were even more impressive in dismantling Denmark 4-0. We preview Tuesday's second games.
Group B Live now
Denmark ended Germany's 22-year reign in the 2017 quarter-finals on their way to finishing as runners-up and were tipped by many for a repeat win in the opener. Instead they suffered their biggest competitive defeat since the 5-0 loss to Norway in the opening match of the first ever group stage in 1997. As Pernille Harder pointed out afterwards, this Denmark team is much changed from five years ago but they need to fulfil their youthful promise quickly and do so without exciting teenage forward Katherine Kühl, sent off against Germany.
Finland were always group outsiders but gave Spain a closer game than the 4-1 scoreline suggests, not just taking the lead but restricting their fluent opponents to creating chances largely from set pieces. And history gives Finland hope: they beat Denmark in the last Women's EURO in England, in 2005, to get through a tough group on debut, and repeated the trick in the Helsinki opener as hosts four years later. Can they make it three wins at Milton Keynes?
Key stat: Linda Sällström's goal against Spain was not only the only first-minute goal in a Women's EURO since the group stage began in 1997, it also made her Finland's oldest final tournament scorer, to add to her record as the youngest from her only other finals strike against England in 2009.
Even before both teams' Friday performances, this was one of the most anticipated contests of the group stage. And with a mathematical possibility of early progress for the winners, depending on the opening result, there is no incentive for either to show caution now.
Germany will be delighted to return to Brentford, where they produced a display with echoes of their heyday in this competition, admittedly a period that spanned more than two decades from the mid-1990s, and there were emotional scenes late on when Alex Popp scored on her belated debut in a Women's EURO finals. But Spain also showed that even in the absence of injured Alexia Putellas (watching, in a Virginia Torrecilla shirt, from the sidelines) and Jenni Hermoso, they have attacking talent to spare.
Key stat: These teams drew 1-1 in Middlesbrough in February, Lea Schüller's 88th-minute goal cancelling out Alexia's opener.