Ger­many, Swe­den into women’s Euro q-fi­nals

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Hold­ers Ger­many beat Rus­sia 20 to set up a women’s Euro quar­ter-fi­nal clash with Den­mark while Swe­den also ad­vanced to the knock­out phase de­spite los­ing 3-2 to Italy on Tues­day. In Utrecht, Ba­bett Peter scored from the spot on 10 min­utes and cap­tain Dzsenifer Marozsan con­verted an­other penalty in the 56th minute to hand a dom­i­nant Ger­many vic­tory.

Peter con­verted her sec­ond penalty in two games af­ter Daria Makarenko brought down Mandy Is­lacker in the box, while Marozsan pun­ished Mar­garita Ch­er­nomyr­dina’s foul on Sara Dabritz. In Doetinchem, Daniela Sa­batino put Italy ahead on four min­utes af­ter Swe­den de­fender Linda Sem­brant knocked down a cross for her in­side the box.

Lotta Sche­lin equalised from a penalty fol­low­ing a foul on Stina Black­ste­nius by Fed­er­ica Di Criscio, but Sa­batino gave Italy the lead again be­fore half-time when she volleyed home a cross from Linda Tuc­ceri Ci­mini. Black­ste­nius equalised for Swe­den two min­utes af­ter the break, fir­ing in a cross from half-time sub­sti­tute Fri­dolina Rolfo, but Cris­tiana Girelli forced in a cross from Bar­bara Bo­nansea five min­utes from the end.

Swe­den still pro­gressed as run­ners-up de­spite the de­feat and will face hosts Nether­lands for a place in the semi-fi­nals. Ger­many put Rus­sia un­der heavy pres­sure early on as new­comer Sara Door­soun-Kha­jeh tested Rus­sian goal­keeper Ta­tiana Shcherbak with a long-range blast in the build-up to the penalty.

Bay­ern Mu­nich mid­fielder Dabritz had two good chances in the first half but Shcherbak foiled her the first time be­fore she shot nar­rowly wide of the tar­get. The 19-year-old Shcherbak also tipped Peter’s header onto the cross­bar on half an hour.

In the sec­ond half, Anja Mit­tag flicked the ball just past the post while Marozsan’s vol­ley was re­pelled by a div­ing Shcherbak. Peter said she was happy that Ger­many had made it to the quar­ter-fi­nals. “We are group win­ners with seven points and that was our goal from the start,” she said. “We had a lot of chances to­day. Against Den­mark there might be less chances, but we will have to try to con­vert them then.” Rus­sian coach Elena Fom­ina said the game may have been more in­ter­est­ing with­out the penal­ties.

“Ger­many had most of the ball pos­ses­sion and that meant that we were not able to at­tack and cre­ate much dan­ger in front of their goal,” she added.

SUND­HAGE ‘DIS­AP­POINTED’

Swe­den were try­ing to im­pose them­selves, but Italy were more dan­ger­ous on the coun­ter­at­tack, with Bo­nansea first go­ing close and then see­ing her curl­ing strike ex­cel­lently clawed away by Hed­vig Lin­dahl.

Play­ing her last in­ter­na­tional game, Melania Gab­bia­dini fired into Lin­dahl and Sa­batino then missed with a re­bound. In the sec­ond half, Swe­den stepped up their pres­sure, with an­other half-time sub­sti­tute Lisa Dahlkvist first hav­ing her header cleared off the goalline and then steer­ing a low shot wide.

Sem­brant headed wide, while Black­ste­nius slammed her header into the up­right on 78 min­utes. Af­ter Girelli’s goal, Swe­den were lucky to see Bo­nansea fail to add a fourth and then have a stop­page-time shot stopped by Lin­dahl.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed the way it turned out,” said Swe­den coach Pia Sund­hage. “(But) at the end of the day we reached the quar­ter-fi­nal and I’m happy about that,” she said, prais­ing her team for 25 min­utes af­ter the break when Rolfo and Dahlkvist breathed life into her team.

Ital­ian coach An­to­nio Cabrini said Italy could build on the re­sult which he hailed as “a very im­por­tant vic­tory”. “I’m happy for the girls be­cause they promised they would give ev­ery­thing on the pitch and they did.” — AFP

UTRECHT: Ger­many’s mid­fielder Lina Mag­ull (C) vies with Rus­sia’s de­fender Anna Kozh­nikova (L) and Rus­sia’s de­fender Eka­te­rina Moro­zova dur­ing the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 foot­ball match be­tween Rus­sia and Ger­many at Gal­gen­waard Sta­dium in Utrecht on Tues­day. — AFP

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