Monday, October 19, 2020

Sweden shock the Germans

In what was possibly the biggest shock of the tournament to date, Sweden ran out 2-1 winners over Germany in Rennes this evening. Goals from Sofia Jakobsson and Stina Blackstenius were enough to cancel out an early German goal from Lina Magull.

The first half started well with both sides adopting a physical approach. Germany were doing most of the attacking in the early going and had a chance to take the lead from a free-kick right at the edge of the box. Lina Magull stepped up to take it but hammered her effort right at Hedvig Lindahl.

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s team didn’t have to wait very long for their goal in the end as 16 minutes in, Germany pounced. Sara Daebritz stole the ball from Sweden in a very dangerous area, drove forward with the it and played a lovely through pass into the feet of Magull. The German midfielder took a touch to set herself and slammed an acrobatic effort through the legs of the onrushing Lindahl.

Following the goal, Sweden started to grow into the game with long balls proving to be a real sticking point for the German defence. It didn’t take them long to get back on level terms as six minutes after Germany took the lead, Sofia Jakobsson struck back. The goal came from a simple ball over the top from defence, the German defence were caught napping and Jakobsson found herself in on goal. She created a lovely angle for herself and slid the ball underneath the Almuth Schult to draw her side level.

Sweden dominated early second half

There wasn’t much in the way of chances for the rest of the half as the sun beamed down on Roazhon Park in Rennes. The two sides went in at the break on level terms, but Sweden came out the traps like a house on fire in the second period.

Just three minutes after the restart, Sweden took the lead through their hero of the quarter-final, Stina Blackstenius. The ball came in from out on the right wing, Jakobsson met it beautifully to head it back across the keeper, Schult pushed it out to Blackstenius who hammered home the rebound.

Germany pressed and pressed to get back into the game and could very well have been awarded a penalty just seven minutes from time. The ball came into the box from a free-kick, Alexandra Popp rose to meet it and was cleaned out by the keeper, Lindahl. It was a blatant foul but the flag went up for offside – VAR reviewed the decision and their replays showed the striker was indeed offside… just.

Ultimately, Sweden managed to hang on to their lead meaning Germany, who were one of the favourites, crash out of the tournament at the quarter-finals. Sweden will look ahead to next week when they will face the winner of today’s other game, Netherlands, for a place in the World Cup final.

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