Ger­many win not enough for us, says Den­mark’s skip­per

Liver­pool sup­port­ers give thumbs-up to stand­ing ar­eas

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS - BAVEL: — AFP —AFP

A day af­ter a stun­ning win over eight­time cham­pi­ons Ger­many at the women’s Euro, Den­mark skip­per Pernille Harder said the scalp had left her team were hun­gry for more. “It was such a nice win, but now we’re look­ing for­ward also,” the 24-year-old for­ward told AFP at Den­mark’s train­ing cen­tre in Bavel. “It’s not enough for us, just to win against Ger­many.” Hav­ing con­ceded on three min­utes, Den­mark came back to nix Ger­many’s dreams of a sev­enth ti­tle in a row with sec­ond-half head­ers by Na­dia Nadim and Theresa Nielsen.

Harder, who plays for Bun­desliga cham­pi­ons Wolfs­burg, said this was the big­gest win of her ca­reer. “When I play in Ger­many it’s more special, but it was just so nice to win the game so we reached the semi-fi­nal,” she added. Ger­many were un­beaten at Euro since July 3, 1993 when they lost to Den­mark 3-1 in the bronze medal game.

By mak­ing the semi-fi­nals, Den­mark have equalled their re­sult from 2013. Harder said this was due to “hard work and good dis­ci­pline in de­fence and then a lot of speed in the of­fence.”

“As a team we can re­lax when have time to re­lax and think about other stuff than foot­ball and then when we’re on the field we are do­ing it at 100 per­cent,” she said. “We’re never sat­is­fied, we al­ways want to im­prove as a team and also as in­di­vid­u­als and that’s key for us.”

Com­pared with 2013, when Den­mark lost to Nor­way on penal­ties in the semi-fi­nals, the team is dif­fer­ent, Harder said. “We played dif­fer­ently back then, the tac­tic is dif­fer­ent, it was more like we’re re­ally good at pos­ses­sion, we had the ball more in 2013, now we’re more di­rect.”

Harder also has a new part­ner in the at­tack­ing line, the Afghan-born Na­dia Nadim, who was a sub­sti­tute at the 2013 tour­na­ment but has be­come a per­ma­nent fix­ture up front since then. “She’s a re­ally good player, a strong hit­ter, so it’s nice to know that there is a good hit­ter like her in the box,” Harder said. While Nadim scored against Ger­many, Harder is still wait­ing for her first goal at the tour­na­ment-but she is not both­ered by her drought. “It’s im­por­tant that we score as a team, and I will rather like to make as­sists than to score.”

“Of course if the team needs it, I would love to score, but if I could choose whether to win the ti­tle or score, I’d rather win the ti­tle,” Harder said. In the Au­gust 3 semi-fi­nal in Breda, Den­mark are fac­ing Euro new­com­ers Aus­tria, who won their group ahead of gi­ants France and beat another favourite Spain on penal­ties af­ter a goal­less draw in the quar­ter-fi­nal. “They have been re­ally good,” said Harder.

“I think they have been a big sur­prise of the tour­na­ment, they have such a good de­fence and the high pres­sure, and they have some re­ally good play­ers in the front when they win the ball.”

The two teams met in a friendly on July 6 in Wiener Neustadt, Aus­tria, and the home side earned a con­vinc­ing 4-2 win. “We lost in the friendly game so of course we want a re­venge,” said Harder.

English Foot­ball fans press­ing for stand­ing ar­eas to be re-in­tro­duced re­ceived a ma­jor boost yes­ter­day when Liver­pool sup­port­ers voted by a land­slide ma­jor­ity for it to hap­pen. Their sup­port is es­pe­cially sig­nif­i­cant given the 1989 Hills­bor­ough dis­as­ter which re­sulted in 96 Liver­pool fans be­ing killed in crushes caused by over-crowd­ing in the Lep­pings Lane stand­ing area.

In a week-long poll run by the club’s big­gest in­de­pen­dent sup­port­ers’ group Spirit of Shankly (SoS), 88 per cent of the nearly 18,000 fans who took part voted in favour of rail seat­ing. Rail seat­ing can be flipped down or locked into an up­right po­si­tion, with safety bar­ri­ers separat­ing each row,

Clubs in Eng­land’s top two di­vi­sions have been legally re­quired to have all-seater grounds since the mea­sure was rec­om­mended by the 1990 Tay­lor Re­port into Hills­bor­ough. “It’s an in­cred­i­ble turnout, we aren’t aware of such num­bers vot­ing be­fore,” said SoS chair­man Jay McKenna in a state­ment.

“It demon­strates to us that we were right to have this dis­cus­sion and that sup­port­ers, fam­i­lies and sur­vivors want to have their say. Af­ter nine months of dis­cus­sion, we have now had the vote and it will be taken as the po­si­tion for Spirit Of Shankly.

“The size of the turnout ma­jor­ity means that no one can be in any doubt that sup­port­ers have had their say and made an in­formed de­ci­sion.” How­ever, McKenna added fur­ther dis­cus­sions should take place given the sen­si­tiv­ity of the is­sue to those who lost loved ones at Hills­bor­ough.

“We say to any­one who is cam­paign­ing for this to un­der­stand sen­si­tiv­i­ties and re­spect the views of those who dis­agree,” he said. “Those who have been through in­cred­i­ble heartache and tragedy have ev­ery right to be heard and to ask im­por­tant ques­tions about safety.

“It was im­por­tant in our con­ver­sa­tions to have th­ese an­swered. It would be wise for that to take place else­where.” The vote comes in the wake of last week’s ap­proval of third tier English side Shrews­bury’s move to cre­ate a safe stand­ing area, which would have a ca­pac­ity of around 500, in their Mont­gomery Wa­ters Meadow arena.

The Sports Ground Safety Au­thor­ity gave their seal of ap­proval last Wed­nes­day. Shrews­bury are look­ing to raise up to £75,000 (84,000 eu­ros) to fund the cost of be­com­ing the first all-seater sta­dium in Eng­land and Wales to in­tro­duce safe stand­ing be­fore the end of the 2017-18 sea­son.

The Premier League re­cently wrote to its 20 clubs ask­ing if they would be in­ter­ested in tak­ing part in a trial to rein­tro­duce stand­ing sec­tions in their grounds. Scot­tish Premier­ship cham­pi­ons Celtic last sea­son in­stalled 2,600 rail seats at Park­head in a move that was con­sid­ered a suc­cess.

— AP

SAN DIEGO: United States de­fender Julie Ertz (8) scores a goal past Brazil goal­keeper Bar­bara, left, as Brazil de­fender Ad­nress­inha (17) de­fends dur­ing the sec­ond half of a Tour­na­ment of Na­tions women’s soc­cer match Sun­day, in San Diego. The United States won, 4-3.

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