Spain get past Denmark 1-0 to reach last 8 of Women’s Euro
Sports Desk, Jul 16 (EFE).- While Spain needed only a draw Saturday against Denmark to advance to the quarterfinals of Women’s Euro 2022, Marta Cardona’s goal in the 90th minute to break the 0-0 deadlock was greeted with relief by her teammates, the coaches and La Roja supporters at London’s Brentford Community Stadium.
A win is a win, but Spain’s underwhelming performance in the battle for second place in Group B raised questions about their chances in next Thursday’s match with host nation England, who won Group A with 9 points from 9 and outscored their opponents 14-1.
Germany, who had already clinched the top spot in Group B, cruised 3-0 against Finland in Saturday’s other match and will be heavily favored against Austria in the next round.
Spain, who would end the night with 75 percent possession, had the lion’s share of the ball in the early going, yet the first threats were the work of Denmark’s Pernille Harder, who fired over the cross-bar in the 14th minute and into the arms of goalkeeper Sandra Paños two minutes later.
La Roja caught a break in the 19th minute when the referee took no action after Athenea del Castillo’s rough tackle of Janni Thomsen in the area.
A strike by Mariona Caldentey forced a good stop from Danish keeper Lene Christensen, who needed help from defender Simone Boye Sorensen in dealing with a thunderous header by Irene Paredes just before the break.
Spain made a triple-substitution to start the second half, bringing on Cardona, Esther Gonzalez and Olga Carmona, who put the ball in the side-netting on a chance in the 54th minute.
Christensen had to make a diving save to deny Carmona in the 71st and Denmark’s Nadia Nadim tested Paños seven minutes later.
The score remained 0-0 heading into the final minute of regulation, when Cardona headed a Carmona cross past Christensen to win it for Spain.
With nothing substantive on the line for either time, Germany beat Finland by a comfortable 3-0, leaving the Finns the solace of conceding one fewer goal than Denmark and only one more than Spain.
The Germans led 1-0 at the half on Sophia Kleinherne’s goal and Alexandra Popp made it 2-0 early in the second half, becoming only the second player in the history of Women’s Euro to score in each of the group stage matches.
Nicole Anyomi added a third goal in the 63rd minute. EFE msg/dr