A spirited German side established themselves as major contenders in the Women’s Euro after beating Denmark 4-0 in their opening match.
After taking the bulk of possession in the early part of the match, Lina Magull broke through to put Germany ahead in the 21st minute. It was a deserved goal, but in truth the Germans could have been three goals up already at that stage.
Denmark, who entered the tournament as dark horses, struggled to keep possession in the face of Germany’s relentless attack, though they had a few good chances before the first half was through.
Germany looked ruthless as the second half got underway, drowning out the Danish defence as they pressed forward, and it wasn’t long before they put themselves two goals to the better, thanks to Lea Schuller.
Experienced player Nadia Nadim put herself in the thick of it for Denmark after coming on as a sub in the 56th minute, but Germany had the bit between their teeth and there was little to be done to subdue them.
Katherine Moller Kuhl, who came on as a sub, gave away a free kick 30 yards out after a foul that earned her a yellow card, and it was another sub, Lena Lattwein who made a more positive impact as she found the net for Germany.
Less than 10 minutes later, Alexandra Popp, who missed the last two European Championships through injury, scored on her tournament debut.
In a cruel twist of fate for Denmark, a second yellow for 19-year-old Kuhl saw her sent off in the final minute of the match, leaving them with serious questions to answer, after their tournament opener.
TALKING POINT – DO WE HAVE A WINNER?
It’s early days to be calling a winner, but Germany have proven themselves to have the ruthlessness that’s required to establish themselves as major players in a tournament of this stature. A relentlessly attacking side, other teams will rightly fear meeting them.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – ALEXANDRA POPP
Though almost impossible to single out one member of the Germany side, but credit must go to Alexandra Popp, scoring on her debut after cruelly missing two previous European Championships.
GERMANY: Frohms 7, Hendrich 7, Hegering 7, Oberdorf 8, Schuller 8, Huth 7, Dabritz 8, Gwinn 7, Rauch 7, Buhl 7, Magull 8. Subs: Lattwein 8, Lohmann 7, Popp 8, Dallmann 7, Brand 7.
DENMARK: Christensen 6, Sevecke 5, Pedersen 5, Veje 5, Thomsen 6, Troelsgaard 5, Junge 5, Svava 5, Madsen 5, Bruun 6, Harder 6. Subs: Boye 5, Nadim 7, Larsen 6, Moller Kuhl 4, Gejl Jensen 5.
14’ RELENTLESS GERMANY PILE ON THE PRESSURE
Germany just pelted the ball at the net about four times in 20 seconds! Lina Magull eventually strikes wide, which will be a HUGE relief for Christensen in goal.
21’ GOAL! LINA MAGULL SCORES FOR GERMANY!
It’s been coming for a while, but Lina Magull breaks through the Danish defence to fire the ball in the back of the net.
57’ GOAL! SCHULLER FINDS THE NET FOR GERMANY
Schuller gets above the Danish defence to head the ball in the back of the net. 2-0 to Germany.
78’GOAL! LATTWEIN PUTS GERMANY 3-0 UP!
A yellow card for Kuhl gifts Germany a free kick around 30 yards out. Substitute Lattwein finds the net.
86’ GOAL! POPP POPS IT IN THE NET!
Alexandra Popp makes it 4-0 in her first European Championship! She heads the ball in at close range.
90’+4RED CARD FOR KUHL!
A second yellow sees the worst possible start for Denmark in this tournament, and substitute Kuhl is sent off!