Reigning Olympic champions Germany made it two wins from two in Group B of the FIFA Women’s World Cup after beating Spain 1-0 in Valenciennes.
Both sides came into the match off the back of opening wins in France, as Germany beat China 1-0, while Spain were 3-1 victors over South Africa.
Spain, who are yet to keep a clean sheet in a Women’s World Cup finals match, had more than 60 per cent possession during the first half but fell behind three minutes before the interval.
After goalkeeper Sandra Panos saved Alexandra Popp’s header, Marta Torrejon only succeeded in clearing the ball onto Sara Daebritz’s shin and into the net from close range at the far post.
The result underlines Germany’s credentials as potential tournament winners, with the nation now unbeaten in their last 18 Fifa Women’s World Cup group stage matches (won 14, drew four).
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side also stretch their unbeaten run to 14 matches in all competitions (won 12, drew two), stretching back to a defeat against France in March 2018.
TALKING POINT – Do Germany’s results hide a lack of serious threat?
Having won both group matches so far, Germany top Group B and will almost certainly progress to the knockout stage of the tournament, though neither of their wins have been altogether convincing.
Against Spain, they were clearly the better side technically speaking, but it was the losers who piled on the pressure again and again. A performance such as this against a team of the calibre of France or USA would undoubtedly not have cut the mustard.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – Giulia Gwinn
Spain’s Jennifer Hermoso could also have laid claim to this accolade, as well as Germany’s Svenja Huth, but Giulia Gwinn looked dangeous whenever she found herself in the final third, showing real pace and constantly pressing the Spanish side.
Germany: Schult 6, Hendrich 7, Hegering 7, Doorsoun 7, Gwinn 8, Goessling 7, Dabritz 7, Oberdorf 7, Huth 7, Popp 7, Schweers 6. Subs: Leupolz 6, Buhl 6, Magull 6.
Spain: Panos 7, Torrejon 6, Paredes 7, Leon 6, Corredera 6, Meseguer 6, Hermoso 7, Torrecilla 6, Caldentey 6, Nahikari Garcia 7, Putellas 6. Subs: Guijarro 6, Lucia Garcia 7, Bonmati 6.
15′ CHANCE! A squandered opportunity for Spain there as Garcia finds herself in the area with a fantastic ball from Hermosa. Schult is out of the goal but Garcia shoots wide.
17′ CHANCE! Meseguer has a chance now as Spain continue to press the German side. She’s also off-target.
42’ GOAL! It wasn’t exactly slick, but it’ll do. Germany take the lead as Dabritz pokes the ball in the net after the ball rebounds off the keeper and the Paredes can’t can’t quite get to it in time.