The Germany women’s national team secured a 1-1 draw against Spain in their inaugural Arnold Clark Cup match. Head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg was without several key players due to injury, but her side still managed to record an important result against their upcoming EURO 2022 group stage opponents.
Recently crowned the Best FIFA women’s player Alexia Putellas (Barcelona) opened the scoring just seconds into the second half (46’). Lea Schüller then equalised late on (89’) with her 24th goal in her 35th match for Germany. The team have now drawn three of their six encounters against Spain (also W3). In their most recent meeting at the 2019 World Cup in France, Sara Däbritz scored to secure a 1-0 win for Germany.
Next up, Germany will face Canada on Sunday (21:15 CET), before closing the tournament against EURO 2022 hosts England (Wednesday, 20:30 CET).
Germany attempted to break up Spain’s ferocious passing game early on at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough. Prior to the match, Voss-Tecklenburg had warned about Spain’s quality, saying “Spain are a world-class team. They are currently the best team, and are the benchmark in a lot of areas.”
Voss-Tecklenburg’s team looked to use their physicality to cause problems for the Spaniards by forcing them into losing possession in order to then counter quickly. Lea Schüller and Jule Brand combined early on for the first shot of the game (4’). Germany then had another good opportunity to score in the 15th minute, as Brand played in Klara Bühl, who was making her 20th appearance for the side. Her shot failed to find the target.
Currently third in the FIFA world rankings, Germany were able to keep Spain quiet for much of the opening stages of the game. Merle Frohms made her first save in the 19th minute to parry a shot from Jennifer Hermoso. The Barcelona striker then had another attempt sail wide of goal in the 29th minute.
Spain were eventually able to break away from the German press as the game went on. Lucía García Córdoba sent a shot past the left post (34‘), while Schüller then missed a golden opportunity down the other end. After a cross from Brand, a Spain defender was able to deflect Schüller’s shot just in time in order to keep the scores deadlocked at 0-0.
The second half got off to a disastrous start for Germany. Lena Oberdorf was looking to play a pass back to Frohms, but played it too short, allowing Alexia Putellas to intercept it and slot home the opener just 25 seconds into the second half.
Spain looked more settled with the lead firmly in their hands, as Germany struggled to keep possession. Mapi Leon could have doubled Spain’s advantage after a great cross from Patricia Guijarro, but was unable to make it count (58’).
Voss-Tecklenburg’s team were on the back foot in the minutes that followed, and were focused on defending a constant wave of Spanish attacks.
In the 72nd minute, it was Lina Magull who could have brought Germany level but saw her shot blocked by goalkeeper Sandra Paños. Shortly after, it was Frohms who came up with two huge saves. First, she tipped a shot from García onto the bar with a fingertip save before then getting down to put the ball out for a corner (77‘).
Schüller then netted a late equaliser for Germany (89’), slotting the ball into the back of the net from inside the area as Germany rescued a point in their opening Arnold Clark Cup match. In nearly five months time, the two sides will meet in the group stages of the EUROs on 12th July (21:00 CET) at the Brentford Community Stadium in London.