And that’s all from me. An excellent and close-fought game in which one side took their chance and the other missed all of theirs. Bye!
The World Cup action just keeps on coming: next up it’s the hosts against Norway in Nice, and Jacob Steinberg is all over it:
Here’s the group table. Germany will be officially through to the knockout stage if China and South Africa draw tomorrow:
In the end Spain had 59% of possession, won the corner count 7-2 and finished with a narrow, 16-15 lead on shots. But when it came to shots on target, Germany prevailed 8-2. That first-half Nahikari García chance, when she ran clear only to spoon her effort wide with Schult poorly positioned, was their most glaring miss, but there were a few others.
Sara Däbritz is named player of the match, the standard unimaginative response to a close game with no single outstanding performer being to lump for the goalscorer.
An excellent game, played at a high tempo by two well-organised teams full of fine, technical players. Spain just lacked the flair and the finesse in the final third to find a way through Germany’s defence. It’s successive 1-0 wins for Germany, neither enormously convincing, but they are now in pole position to win the group and in so doing, importantly, avoid the USA in the next round.
Final score: Germany 1-0 Spain
90+4 mins: Germany win a free-kick in Spain’s half, take is short, waste about 45 seconds in the process and that’s yer lot!
90+2 mins: The corner goes long to Bonmati, who chests down and then shoots. It hits a defender and Spain appeal for a penalty, but it came off her thigh.
90+2 mins: The Spanish continue to press, and win a corner. 90 seconds remain. The tension rises.
90+1 mins: Spain win a free-kick for offside just inside their own half, but take it quickly and give it away.
90+1 mins: Into stoppage time, of which there’ll be about three minutes. Spain are flinging players forwards now.
89 mins: Nahikari García goes down in the penalty area, under Hegering’s challenge. There was contact, if not a lot, and though the referee waved play on I thought that VAR might intervene. They didn’t, though.
87 mins: Some prolonged German pressure following a corner ends with Bühl heading straight at the keeper from 10 yards. A few moments later Magull is played through and shoots wide (she was probably offside, anyway)
84 mins: Germany win a free-kick on the right flank. They swing it into the area and Hegering flings herself into the Spanish goalkeeper, Paños, who thus can’t get near the ball, which bounces only just wide.
83 mins: Ooooh! Lucia Garcia runs down the right, holds off a couple of challenges and then, when space opens up inside the area, plays a blind pass inside in the vague direction of Nahikari García, but the actual direction of Schult, who collects. That could have been a proper chance.
82 mins: Hegering breaks forwards before having a terrible long-range shot.
81 mins: “Interesting to see the women keep on playing when a player’s on the ground,” says Marc Hermann, as Leupolz replaces Goeßling for Germany. “That is how it should be done, until the ref pauses the game.” One of the things that has most contributed to this game’s entertainment value is the lack of stoppages. The referee has been excellent, I think, and has refused to hand out cheap free-kicks for negligible contact, as so often happens in the men’s game.
77 mins: The official attendance is 20,761, which is only 4,000 below the stadium’s capacity. Spain bring Bonmati on in place of Putellas.
76 mins: And they come closer to scoring from it that Spain have from any of theirs, Däbritz winning the header but Paños making the save.
74 mins: Germany win their first corner of the match, as Däbritz’s cross deflects off a defender. Spain have had five.
71 mins: Corredera wins the prize for having the most ludicrously optimistic and horrifically useless shot of the day, with a 45-yard effort that barely reaches the goalline, about 10 yards wide.
69 mins: Spain are a fine team, generally well organised, but they appear to have absolutely no idea how to score a goal. As a general rule of them, when they get to the German penalty area they pass the ball around aimlessly before having a rubbish shot from an unpromising position.
66 mins: Some substitutional news: Germany have brought Lina Magull on, replacing Lena Oberdorf. Spain bring Patri Guijarro on for Meseguer.
64 mins: After an age, Torrejón runs up to the ball and calmly sidefoots it into the nearest defender. Germany break, and Bühl has the ball in a two-on-one break. Instead of passing to an oen team-mate, though, she takes a wild shot that flies high and wide.
62 mins: Good work from Bühl, who cuts inside a defender and shoots from 18 yards but too clsoe to the goalkeeper. Spain run down the other end, where Lucia Garcia is brought down just outside the area by Schweers, who is booked.
59 mins: Caldentey comes off, and Spain bring on Lucia Garcia. There are thus two Garcias in their attack, with Lucia joining Nahikari.
54 mins: A long spell of Spanish possession ends with them simply surrendering the ball inside the centre circle.
50 mins: Now Germany come close, Popp having a header saved, but there was an offside in the build-up and play is brought back.
49 mins: Spain go close again! It’s a cross from the right, flicked on to Garcia, who heads wide of a gaping goal! The assistant referee’s flag was raised, but it looked very close indeed and I suspect she may have been overruled by VAR.
47 mins: Spain win another corner, which bounces through to Putellas, beyond the far post, who diverts the ball goalwards but with very little bower, and Schult collects.
46 mins: Spain get the second half under way, and the sun has now come out. Also out is Kathrin Hendrich, who has been replaced by Klara Buhl.
“You set the pun-ditry bar very high with ‘much Erfurt but little reward’ in the preamble,” writes Peter Oh. “I don’t know how you could possibly top that during the match. Not even if the Germany captain has a Popp on goal. Nor if the Germany coach Schweers by her left back despite a dodgy performance.” Why thank you sir.
Spain have a 258-131 half-time lead on passes, which is a demonstration of their technical excellence. Plus they’ve had a couple of fabulous goalscoring chances, and should really have prevented Germany from taking theirs. All in all, they should be slightly disheartened, and also extremely encouraged.
Half time: Germany 1-0 Spain
45+2 mins: That’s all for this first half. The scoreline is tough on Spain, who have been excellent but lack a cutting edge. They have had more possession and more shots, but of those eight shots only one has been on target.
45 mins: Into stoppage time, of which there’ll be two minutes or so.
GOAL! Germany 1-0 Spain (Däbritz, 42 mins)
Germany take the lead, but what was Torrejón up to there? Huth runs down the right and crosses, Popp’s header is saved and the ball runs loose, a yard from the line. Torrejón had a couple of yards’ head start but seemed unsure what to do and decided to just do nothing, allowing Däbritz to catch up, stick out a leg and push the ball over the line!
38 mins: The game is halted because of another injury, this time to Torrecilla, who appears to have hurt herself in a challenge with Däbritz.