The Women’s Euros – Third round games and quarter finals preview

by Andrew Crawshaw

Group A

Austria 1 v Norway 0 – Manuella Zinsberger in the Austrian goal with another clean sheet. 

So far the only goal she has let in was the beautiful lob from her Arsenal teammate Beth Mead in the opening game.  The only goal of this game coming towards the end of the first half with a Bilia header from an assist by Henshaw.  Norway had the bulk of possession (57/43%) but Austria by far the more incisive with 9 shots on target to Norway’s 2.  A deserved win for Austria who qualified for the quarter-finals as group runners-up (as I predicted in my preview).

England 5 v Northern Ireland 0 – an expected win for England against the bottom-ranked team in the tournament.  Northern Ireland were impressive for the first 35 minutes or so, pressing England high up the pitch and creating a number of half chances.  Once Fran Kirby scored the first goal in the 41st minute it was really only a matter of what the final scoreline was going to be.  Beth Mead got her fifth goal of the tournament three minutes later to add some gloss to the halftime scoreline.  Minutes into the second half she turned provider for the first of a brace for substitute Alessia Russo.  In the 76th minute she put in another teasing cross which was turned into her own net by Kelsie Burrows and also provided a guilt-edged chance for Russo to get a hat trick only for the chance to be spurned.  England through with three wins out of three and 14 goals scored.

Group B

Finland 0 v Germany 3 – A routine win for Germany, 70% possession and 7 shots to nil on target.  For the first 40 minutes, it looked as though Germany were struggling a bit but eventually the gulf in quality showed and, in truth, this was a game Germany were never going to let slip.  Germany were already through as group winners.

Denmark 0 v Spain 1 – Spain dominated the stats but never looked comfortable in the game.  The only goal came in the 90th minute, until then the game looked destined for a goal-less draw.  Spain (one of the big pre-tournament favourites) through to the quarter-finals as runners up and will play England.

Group C

Switzerland 1 v Netherlands 4 – Netherlands at last showing some of the form expected.  Vivianne Miedema still missing due to COVID  so Beerensteyn was tasked with leading the line.  The first half was even and goalless.  Gunners Noëlle Matitz and Lia Wälti both featuring for a determined Swiss side.  All of the goals came in the second half.  An opening goal by Stephanie Van de Gragt was almost immediately cancelled with an equaliser from Géraldine Reuteler for Switzerland and for much of the second half it looked like the was going to be that.  Lia Wälti was subbed off in the 83rd minute with a foot injury and Netherlands then scored three late goals to seal the win.  Romée Leuchter in the 84th and 93rd minute and Viktoria Pelova in the 94th minute.  An unfortunate end for Switzerland and Netherlands through as group runners up.

Sweden 5 v Portugal 0 – This game wasn’t close, Sweden were on top from the outset and one up in the 21st minute through Filippa Angleldahl.  She got a second in the 40th minute after a long break in play following a serious injury ty to Portugal’s Catarina Amado who left the field on a stretcher (on behalf of all Untolders I wish her a speedy and full recovery).  Carole Costa got a defensive header all wrong in injury time with a spectacular own goal.  A penalty early in the second half ended any lingering hope of a Portugal come back and our own Stina Blackstenius added the fifth goal  in the 91st minute.  Sweden through as Group winners on goal difference.

Group D

Italy 0 v Belgium 1 – A game which Italy needed to win to progress but one where that never looked likely.  It was an error-strewn game, possession was even and Italy had 5 shots on goal to Belgium’s 2 but it was Belgium who looked the more secure at the back and the more dangerous on the break.  The first half was goal-less and really rather tedious  At the start of the second half Belgium scored the only goal of the match through Tine De Caigny and from there on Italy huffed and puffed but never looked like their day started with Weetabix (to paraphrase one of my favourite current TV Commercials).  The win enough to confirm Belgium as runners up.

Iceland 1 v France1 – A win would have seen Iceland qualify as runners up and they tried awfully hard so secure it.  France got off to a flier with Melvin Malard scoring in the opening minute and in truth always had just enough to keep Iceland at bay.  The equalising goal came deep into injury time at the end of the game.  France were already qualified and their performance showed that a bit as they lacked the intensity of their first two games.

The quarter Final Line up is:-

Home Team Away Team Venue / Date / Time Arsenal Players who may be involved
1 England Spain Amex Stadium, Brighton Wednesday 20 July 20:00 Leah Williamson, Beth Mead, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Nikita Parris all for England
2 Germany Austria Brentford Community Stadium Thursday 21st July 20:00 Manuella Zinsberger, Laura Wienroither for Austria
3 Sweden Belgium Leigh Sports Village, Manchester. Friday 22 July 20:00 Stina Blackstenius for Sweden
4 France Netherlands New York Stadium, Rotherham . Saturday 23 July 20:00 Vivianne Miedema for The Netherlands

Eight out of the original Arsenal Contingent are still in the competition.  Only Nöelle Maritz and Lia Wälti for Switzerland and Frida Maanum for Norway have failed to make the cut.  Simone Boye, for Denmark, left Arsenal before the competition started.

Quarter Final 1 – England v Spain  This will be interesting, no other team plays in quite the same way as Spain with their intricate passing.  If we can effectively press through that system we should have enough goalscoring threat to emerge as fairly convincing winners, if not we could easily find ourselves down by a couple of goals.

Quarter Final 2 – Germany v Austria  Germany should beat Austria, who have probably over achieved to qualify for the quarter-final.  Austria do have a very tight defence and this game is likely to be decided  by a single goal.

Quarter Final 3 – Sweden v Belgium  Sweden should win this one relatively comfortably.  Belgium are a solid workmanlike team but haven’t shown enough attacking flair so far.  I suspect Sweden have two or more goals in them and Belgium only one.

Quarter Final 4 – France v Netherlands  Two of the strongest teams remaining in the competition although Netherlands aren’t as good as they were when winning the last Euros.  France started the best of all of the teams but haven’t quite found that form since.  Netherlands still lacking their Mojo.  This will either be an attritional game won by a solitary goal or a really good game between two attacking teams with something like a 4 – 3 scoreline.  France to edge the game for me (although I will be rooting for the Netherlands).

The Semi-finals are in Sheffield on Tuesday 26th July and Milton Keynes on Wednesday 27th July (both 20:00) with the final at Wembley on Sunday 31st July with a 17:00 kickoff.

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