Denmark 0 (3) – 0 (0) Austria (penalties)
I slept through the first half, because 2 am is too early for sane people, and I’m trying to remain sane. So tired eyed, I wake up at three am. I hear there was a missed Austrian penalty the first half. That hurts. But I can only really speak of the second half, and both teams brought what they have consistently throughout the whole tournament.
Denmark again demonstrated they are fantastic in attack, whilst Austria continued to go with the philosophy that teamwork makes the dream work. The game was destine to head to penalty shootouts, because obviously 120 minutes of playing time is really not enough to split a game of gorgeous attack against well disciplined defence.
Unlike in the quarterfinals against Spain, the Austrians look rattled when taking their penalties. There is no comparison between the kicks taken the previous game compared with what was demonstrated here. Austria lost it. They didn’t even need a keeper to save a couple of them. None went in. It was bad. Meanwhile, Denmark looked comfortable and FINALLY gave us a winner for the game.
For the sake of entertaining football I am overjoyed Denmark won and are through to the final. However the side of me that loves well-disciplined, tactical football is a little bit disappointed that Austria didn’t make the finals. And with Austria out, pigs don’t fly in Europe.
Netherlands 3 – 0 England
Guys it was bad.. Well not bad, bad. As in England showed some chops. But for the first twenty minutes we were terrible. Netherlands capitalised. And whilst we tried to bring it afterwards, England just forgot how to score. And forgot how to defend at times too.
Acknowledging my complete and utter personal bias, I am fully convinced that on another day, with a couple calls going our way (cough, cough there were TWO CLEAR PENALTIES CALLS!) England could have got a better result, if not a win. Instead the ball just never bounced for the English and it was a tough day in the office.
With England chasing the game, the Netherlands comfortably dealt with everything that was thrown their way. Whilst people will dwell on the greatness of the Dutch attack, and seriously kudos to them, they’ve been great, the real secret to the Dutch success this tournament has been their centre backs. Lead by Anouk Decker and Stephanie van der Gragt, they are tough, tall, imposing and clever footballers that don’t give their opposition a sniff of the goals.
England looked better in the last 15 or so minutes, once Jordan Nobbs was moved centrally. Before this the only threat England possessed was down the right flank, which was comfortably dealt with by good team that is the Netherlands. But England’s plan B was too late and left them vulnerable in the back, allowing the Netherlands to further rub salt in the wound and pile on a goal in injury time of the second half.
So now there will be a final with the Netherlands, the tournament hosts, and the Danes. Gutted is an understatement that England aren’t there. But good for football (I suppose…). Thank goodness the Matildas played well this morning or I would be a miserable git all weekend.
Photo of the Round
Guys it’s too hard to look through photos of happy teams when mine are of sadness. So the photos above are the photos of the round
Netherlands – Denmark
Monday 7th August 1am