German footballers inspire at the European Championship: from outsiders to favorites in 90 minutes – Sport

Alexandra Popp slumped to the ground and was overwhelmed by emotion. With Denmark just before the end, she went to the first leg of the German soccer team for the European championship, thanks to which they won 4-0 and provided an emotional climax. Perhaps at this point she had many career injuries over her head and that she could only take part in this European Championship because they were postponed for a year.

Maybe a few weeks ago she was also thinking about a corona infection which is why she almost missed this tournament. “At the time, I thought it was impossible for him to fail because of Corona and not because of an injury,” said Popp.

But once again, the 31-year-old forward struggled and her goal against the Danes was the culmination of a furious performance by the entire German team. “I can’t believe it. I’m very happy to be given this season and then scored another goal,” said the goal scorer. After being headed by Sydney Lohmann’s unusual cross, she fell to her knees and was immediately embraced by her teammates, beaming with joy. The goal means a lot not only to Popp, but to the entire team.

Actually, this story is just one of many that led to the match against Denmark. Others are substitutes. National team coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg announced in advance that she had “power and quality” on the bench, but it was still impressive that the players who were replaced fit in so seamlessly.

The German team was considered a grab bag before the European Championship. Only one test match was played on purpose in order to have enough time to train together and find each other. Voss-Tecklenburg, of course, chose the right path, or so the Friday night performance in Brentford suggested. “First you have to beat us, and if we play like today no one will succeed,” said the national team coach.

Germany was very focused, looked determined, and carried out aggressive offensive pressure that few could expect. Least is Lars Söndergaard’s team that seemed overwhelmed and found no answer throughout the season.

The Germans radiated enthusiasm and creativity

After a relatively calm start, defender Felicitas Rauch created the Germans’ first great chance with his hitting the crossbar. From then on, the Germans were running and only won a few balls in the opposite half. After a short time, Rauch hit the crossbar again and Schüller hit the post (albeit from an offside position), the players looked almost angry that they had not scored yet. Symbolically, the opening goal was scored by a strong Lina Magull after a successful shot.

The German team played in an extremely intense way and required the highest discipline from everyone. The fitness level of the Voss-Tecklenburg players was also adequate and many training sessions have of course paid off. In addition to the aggressive pressure, the Germans radiated enthusiasm and creativity, and together with Lena Oberdorf and Magull, they showed an extremely present body language and a great will to win that they sometimes lacked in the past.

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In addition, Germany has a balanced composition that allows change without sacrificing quality. This made it clear that 3-0 came from substitute Lena Lattwein, as well as Popp’s fourth goal, assisted by Lohmann, who was also substitutes. But Jule Brand and Linda Dallmann also strengthened the German game and made it possible to play almost the entire season.

Spain is a different challenge

The Danes couldn’t find a solution for over 90 minutes and sometimes seemed a bit inflexible with their 3-4-3 system. This tactical approach often left them outnumbered in central midfield, allowing the Germans to get past their rear defenses and make dangerous crosses, particularly by Svenja Huth and Giulia Gwinn on the right. The German backline was also solid, hitting good diagonal balls and only having trouble from opposite turns.

It’s hard not to get euphoric after such a performance. Denmark has certainly not been an easy opponent, but Spain still faces another challenge in the second group game on Tuesday. Despite the absence of world footballers Alexia Putellas, the Spaniards scored four goals against Finland (4-1) and should aim for more possession than Denmark. But with such team effort and mental strength, German players can seem confident. They are definitely not outsiders against the Spaniards after playing with Denmark.

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