WHAT : Football. European Women’s Championship. Quarterfinal
England – Spain
WHERE : UK, Brighton & Hove. Falmer Stadium (capacity – 30,750 spectators)
WHEN : July 20, Wednesday. 22:00 (Moscow time)
On Wednesday, the first quarterfinal will be played at the Women’s European Football Championship. The hosts of the tournament – the English – will compete for a ticket to the semi-finals with the Spanish. If the men’s team of England a year ago at essentially home Euro 2020 could not become the first, losing in the final to the Italians, then the ladies of the Islanders have a great chance to lift the honorary trophy of the best team on the continent over their heads.
The group stage of the England team went without a hitch. A modest victory over the Austrians in the first round (1:0) was followed by the defeat of the Norwegians (8:0) and neighbors from Northern Ireland (5:0). Along with the Germans, the British showed a 100% result in the group, without missing a single ball. But if the women’s Bundestim has 9 goals in three matches, then the England team has 14, which by a margin makes it the most productive team in the first round of the Euro, which preceded the playoffs. Not surprisingly, the list of European Championship snipers is headed by an Englishwoman – Beth Meadescored in every match at the tournament, once hitting the gates of the national teams of Austria and Northern Ireland, and in the game with the Norwegians, the striker scored a hat-trick. In addition, the 28-year-old Briton made 2 assists and, going in the list of the best in the system (goal + pass) in first place, is currently the main contender for the prize of the most useful player in the Euro.
The Spaniards made it to the playoffs quite confidently, but at the group stage they already managed to taste defeat. The team of Germany (2:0) acted as the offenders of the Jorge Wilda team , who has been working with women’s national teams of different ages since 2009. The “Red Furies” surpassed the Germans in almost all key statistical indicators, but the rivals, in fact, creating only one scoring chance in 90 minutes, were able to upset Sandra Panios twice in goal. Stylistically, the Spanish women’s team plays in a similar manner to the men’s, relying on ball control, but, as practice shows, this is not always the key to success. The percentage of ball possession in the match with Germany was 70/30 in favor of Spain (as, indeed, in all other matches of the group stage), but in modern football, as you know, this is not the main indicator.
The England team also prefers to dominate the field, with possession of the ball for about 65 per cent of playing time. The more interesting it will be to watch the confrontation between teams that prefer to play the first number. The home field factor and super-confident play in the group stage make it possible to safely call the Britons the favorite to reach the semi-finals, where the winner of the Sweden-Belgium pair will be the opponent.