After two lucky victories against Italy and Russia respectively, which followed the opening scoreless draw with Sweden, Germany advanced as group winners from section B of the Women’s EURO 2017.
They thus reached the quarterfinal of the tournament, where they were set to face Denmark on Saturday. Due to heavy rain in Rotterdam however, UEFA postponed the match to noon on Sunday.
The encounter started perfectly for the German team, as Isabel Kerschowski gave them the early lead. The goal came about as a result of a big mistake by Danish keeper Stina Lykke Petersen.
But the lead did not in any way give stability to the German team, on the contrary. The usually so solid defending champions not only played below their potential, as they had done though the entire group stage, they were horrible. Rarely could they connect multiple simple passes together.
At the defensive end, it was a combination of luck and good goalkeeping by Almuth Schult that kept their lead intact at the break.
But early in the second half, Germany was caught off guard, when the referee signaled advantage after a foul on a Danish player. They stopped play and allowed Nadia Nadim to freely head in the equalizer, 1-1!
The Danes grew in confidence after that goal and kept attacking. Therefore, it was clearly just a matter of time, until the Scandinavian side would take the lead. That happened less than ten minutes from the end of regulation, as a Danish cross found Theresa Nielsen, who headed in freely, 2-1!
In the minutes that remained, Germany pushed everything forward, using long balls toward goal. But that was not their style. The usually so technically-skilled players like captain Dzsenifer Marozsan, or Sara Däbritz were not themselves for the whole tournament and thus they were knocked out deservedly in the quarterfinals.
Given the fact that the semis on Thursday will feature the Netherlands vs. England and Denmark vs. Austria, the outcome of the tournament seems wide open.