World Cup Match Report: Germany 1-0 Spain

Today’s game sees both countries second game in the World Cup, the previous games in the World Cup saw results as Spain 3-1 South Africa, Germany 1-0 China. A victory for either team would see them almost book a place in the second phase of the tournament. Spain sit top of the group at the moment before the game on goal difference but the group is still wide open as it goes into game two of the group.

Spain changed it up a little from the first game seeing Amanda Sampedro and Vicky Losada on the bench as Nahikari Garcia and Silvia Meseguer coming into replace them as Jennifer Hermoso sits back in her more natural position as a #10. Spain will need to build on what went wrong for them in a game against South Africa that even though on paper says a 3-1 win, but VAR came to the rescue as two penalties saw Spain turn the game round and get the important third goal. It will be interesting to see how the changes will affect them as they play against a higher ranked team in the tournament.

The teams line up and the national anthems are sung as Germany take the kick off. Spain nearly catch Germany straight from kick-off as Schult has to come off her line quickly to intercept the quick attack and luckily lands to her defender instead of a Spain players boot. Huth gets caught late by Mapi Leon in the first minute that gives Dabritz a real chance in front of goal as the rain starts to pour down but the free kick is blasted into the wall as Spain deal with it.

The rain really starts to come down as the teams start to get into the game with smart passing by both teams as Germany break in but the offside flag stops play as Irene Paredes gets back to win it back. Jorge Vilda looks a drenched man as he watches Spain try to create an attack but Goseling gets clattered by Virginia Torrecilla. A ball over the top sees N.Garcia break away but Germany managed to get back and deal with it as far as Spain come back on the attack once again. Spain are awarded a free kick as Germany go a for ball through the middle and Parades gets across to cut it out and stop the break.

Spain doing really well to win the ball back as our Germany as it a very much a battle for possession in the early going. A beautiful chip over the top to N.Garcia from Hermoso sees her one on one with the keeper as the keeper hesitated it surely had to go goal bound but Garcia stabbed it wide of the goal. Some laxed defending nearly sees Garcia get in but as Spain kept the ball in a ball across the box after the dummy sees Meseguer shoot wide of the Germany goal. Germany have a chance on goal with Gwinn as its hit straight at the goalkeeper. The surface playing havoc as players are slipping all over the place. Hermoso running the game in the centre always looking to pass and get Spain forward and in better positions.

Gwinn has another pop shot but goes well wide and doesn’t make Paños panic. Schult hits a ball long over the top as Germany counter and a beautifully timed tackle by Mapi Leon sees the ball cut out and the attack stopped.

An incredible ball by Paredes picks out Putellas but Germany get back to stop anything building. Spain pressure Germany back and force them to put the ball out of play. Garcia heads the ball and for her troubles get the Germany defender head her straight in the back of the head as there is a break in play as she gets back to her feet but she will defiantly feel that one. Germany attack and just as the ball is about the fall to Huth, Paños gets out to punch the ball away and Popp takes a wack as she is taken out by her own player.

Gwinn goes 50/50 with Corredera and pokes the ball forward but once again Paredes makes a great tackle to stop the attack as we reach 30 minutes in a cracking encounter so far. Popp heads on to Huth who breaks through and has a shot but it is straight at Paños as she shuts down the angle and deals with it well. A corner from Caldentety sees Schult run out to punch it away as Hermoso goes for the glorious overhead as it comes back in but comes to nothing but another corner.

The following corner Schult misses it completely but somehow finds her way back to her in the goal. Torrecilla gets a beautiful tackle in and switches play as Germany defend for their lives as Spain put the pressure on and somehow get it away for another Spain corner. Hermoso lifts the ball into the box as Schult gets to this one to punch it away but straight away Spain pressure Germany into losing the ball and after a poor throw out Spain can’t capitalise.

Torrecilla gets into a hefty challenge and is left punching the ground after Dabritz runs her boots all the way down her leg and ankle. But thankfully makes her way back to her feet and the pitch.

Spain’s pressure play and defensive work is a joy to watch in the first 40 minutes as they have given Germany’s big players no time on the ball such as Popp and Dabritz. A ball into the box by Huth and as Popp heads it Paños saves the ball but as it falls out Torrejón doesn’t react fast enough as Dabritz slides into the role the ball into the empty net after all the great work by Spain in the first 43 minutes can they come back as they stand 0-1 down to Germany.

Photos from @BBCSport

The final minutes of the half are pretty much played in Germany’s half as Spain look to try and build something but can’t find the ball to get through. Spain should have been maybe 1 or 2 up by the time Germany scored does make me wonder if it was L.Garica and not N.Garcia if it would have been any different as she showed her poaching skills in the first game.

Germany make a change where Buehl comes on for Hendrich at half time break. Hermoso deliveries a ball in and as it falls free Torrecilla hits the ball hard but it gets deflected over the bar for a Spain corner. The corner goes all the way through as Putellas heads it back across the box as it falls to the keeper. Caldentey and Hermoso link up on the wing and as the ball whips into the box Garcia tries to get her head to it as Schult clears for it only to be given offside. Another chance for Popp is saved to be given offside for an earlier offence in play before the ball even got into the box.

Spain tries to create some pressure again but as the ball is moved around it falls to Caldenety as her shot is driven wide of the goal. Mapi Leon is fantastic at the back as she stops Germany making anything of a ball on the edge of the box, a proper centre back putting her body on the line to keep out Germany, and never seems to waste possession as she is always looking for a pass out. Germany create a chance but Popp cant do a lot with it as Paños takes it in the Spain goal with no trouble at all. Caldentey comes off for L.Garcia just before the hour mark, who got Spain’s third goal in the first game.

A weak pass in the middle see Germany counter attack as Buhel takes on Parades and gets her shot but once again Paños is in the right position to save the ball. L.Garcia got hacked down as she was the last player through and somehow only received a yellow card for the offence as Spain have a free kick in a dangerous position. Torrejón stands over the ball who hits the ball into the wall and wastes the good opportunity.

Buhel once again breaks through the Spanish defence but wastes her effort over the ball. Obedorf comes off for Magull for Germany. A long ball into the box try’s to find L.Garcia but it’s taken by the keeper but the presence of L.Garcia is already noticed. Meseguer comes off for Guijarro for Spain. L.Garcia crosses to N.Garcia as she flicks it off the Germany defender for a corner. Guijarro lifts the ball into N.Garcia but can’t control it as she brings it down which is followed by Hermoso trying to curl the ball into the top corner but she just can’t quite get the curl she is hoping for. Hermoso controls and holds the ball up and as it is spread wide to Putellas she lifts the ball into the box bout N.Garcia can’t get it away from the defender as Germany clear.

Some beautiful build-up play by Putellas and Corredera is wasted as Corredera hits and hopes over the bar from a long way out. Germany win their first corner on 74 minutes and the corner nearly comes to something as Dabritz gets the header in but Paños is equal to it as well at the front post.

Bhuel then becomes provider as Magull breaks through and slams her shot wide of the post in the 87th minute. Torrejón play the ball into the box as N.Garcia doesn’t take the ball with her looking for a penalty but the ball ends up being a corner to Spain. Spain win a free kick with 3 minutes injury time to play as Paños pushes them forward but it comes to nothing as Germany get back to make sure it comes to nothing. N.Garcia wins the ball and L.Garcia wins a corner as the minutes tick down. Germany do their best to waste time as they get a free kick in the Spain final third as Magull stands over it and try to take it into the corner.

My player of the match would have to be Jennifer Hermoso again as she controlled the ball and helped Spain get on the attack, L.Garcia came on and really made an impact. Germany hold onto a 1-0 win as Spain gave it all they could and deserved something from the game but couldn’t quite get the goal they deserved as they look forward to the final game against China, on which I will be attending and cant wait to go and see this game in Le Harve as it will show where Spain finish in the group and how they journey will continue in the tournament. I am really looking forward to going out to France to go and cheer on Spain in their final group game against China.

Germany: Schult, Hendrich, Hegering, Doorsoun, Gwinn, Goessling, Dabritz, Oberdorf, Huth, Popp, Schweers.

Spain: Panos, Torrejon, Paredes, Leon, Corredera, Meseguer, Hermoso, Torrecilla, Caldentey, Nahikari Garcia, Putellas.

Adam Nunn
adamnunn86@live.co.uk