In their second group game of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the DFB-Frauen take on Spain on Wednesday evening in Valenciennes (18:00 CEST). Following Saturday’s 1-0 victory against China, a win would seal a place in the round of 16 for Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side. Here is everything you need to know ahead of the match.
Previous meetings: Germany and Spain meet for the fifth time on Wednesday and Voss-Tecklenburg’s side have never lost to Spain in the four previous meetings (W2, D2). The two teams last met on 13th November 2018 in a friendly in Erfurt. In what was Horst Hrubesch’s last match in charge, the game ended in a goalless draw.
Strong start for both sides: Giulia Gwinn scored the only goal of the game on Saturday (66’) as Germany took maximum points against China to open their account for the tournament. This was the seventh opening match win in eight World Cup tournaments for the DFB-Frauen , the only failure coming in the 1999 tournament in a draw against Italy. At all major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Olympic Games), Germany remain unbeaten in 19 opening matches, winning fourteen of them. Spain have also made a strong start to this tournament, defeating South Africa 3-1 to go top of Group B ahead of tomorrow’s match in Valenciennes. This was Spain’s first ever victory at a World Cup finals after they failed to win a match in their debut tournament in Canada in 2015.
Youth leading the way: At just 19 years and 341 days of age, Saturday’s match winner Gwinn became the first teenager to start for Germany at a World Cup since Linda Bresonik started against Canada in September 2003. The Freiburg midfielder is also the third youngest player to ever score for the DFB-Frauen at a World Cup behind Birgit Prinz (17 years and 227 days old at the 1995 World Cup) and Ariane Hingst (19 years and 335 days at the 1999 World Cup).
Unbeaten run: Germany are currently on a 13-match unbeaten run which stretches back to 7th March 2018. In this time, the DFB-Frauen have won 11 matches and drawn twice. Voss-Tecklenburg’s side are also unbeaten in their last 17 World Cup group stage matches, winning 13 of those matches. Spain are currently on a four match unbeaten run, winning twice. Their last defeat came at the hands of England in a 2-1 away defeat on 9th April 2019. Since losing to Austria in the Euro 2017 quarter-finals, Spain have won all nine of their competitive matches going into their clash with Germany tomorrow.
Match venue: The Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes has a capacity of 24,926 and is one of nine venues being used for the 2019 Women’s World Cup. The stadium is the home of Ligue 2 side FC Valenciennes and opened in July 2011. The multi-purpose venue can also be used for concerts and has a capacity of 40,000 for live events. Valenciennes, a economic hub located near the Belgian border in northern France, is the smallest host city for the tournament with a population of just 45,000.
Tomorrow’s opponents: Spain played their first ever international match on 5th February 1983, falling to a 1-0 defeat against neighbours Portugal. Spain were the only European team to win all eight matches (24 points) in qualifying for this year’s tournament, winning a group which included Austria (16 points), Finland (10 points), Serbia (7 points) and Israel (1 point). After conceding just two goals in eight matches, Spain qualified for their second World Cup with the joint second best defence in European qualifying alongside Sweden and the Netherlands. The team’s greatest success was reaching the 1997 European Championship semi-finals in Norway and Sweden. In the current FIFA world rankings, Spain are currently 13th with 1913 points, eleven places and 159 points lower than Wednesday’s opponents Germany.
Head coach: Jorge Vilda has led the Spanish women’s team since 2015 and has previously worked with the U17s (2010-2014) and the U19s (2014-2015). Vilda is only the third ever coach to take charge of Spain after Teodoro Nieto and Ignacio Quereda, who was in charge of the team for 27 years.
Spain’s squad: 20 of the 23 players called up to Vilda’s squad currently play their club football in Spain. Only Celia Jimenez, who plays for Reign FC in the United States, Virgina Torrecilla and Irene Paredes, who play for HSC Montpellier and Paris Saint-Germain in France, are currently playing abroad. 10 players in the squad play for FC Barcelona while five Atletico Madrid players also feature in the team for the finals. Lucia Garcia is the youngest player in the squad at just 20 years old while Silvia Meseguer, the oldest player in the squad, is also the only player over the age of 30 who could play at this year’s World Cup.###more###