Germany win not enough for us, says Denmark’s skipper
Liverpool supporters give thumbs-up to standing areas
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.
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.