With about a week to the end of the UEFA Women’s EURO in the Netherlands, the stage is now set for the knockout rounds in which no team would have a second chance.
Holders Germany, Denmark, Netherlands (hosts) , Sweden, Austria, Spain, England and France are the only teams left in the spotlight as the tournament gets even more intense with its air of unpredictability.
Of course it might seem ridiculous to think that Denmark will serve fans an upset against Germany in today’s second quarter final – the Germans do not only reign supreme in the Women’s EURO as a whole, but also in their 21 meetings with the Danes, having 12 wins to their name and leading 44-17 in goals.
However, Steffi Jones charges have been far from convincing in the Netherlands especially in front of goal and they have had to depend on penalties for three of their four goals so far.
In the earlier quarter final of today, a sold-out crowd is expected to witness if the Netherlands can progress to the semi finals of the Women’s EURO for a second time in three appearances. The Dutch side have not lacked the immense home advantage that comes with being hosts and they won all their group games as a show of gratitude. Now, Sweden – who finished second to Germany in Group B – stand in the Netherlands way of taking the next big step on home soil.
Austria are definitely the surprise package of the tournament. Who would have thought the newbies would beat favourites France to the top of Group C.
And their fans are already hoping for a semi-final place considering that Spain – their last eight opponents – only managed to squeeze themselves through with three points.
That match on Sunday will be followed by the big encounter between England and France. The Lionesses have roared their way to this stage in emphatic fashion, scoring the highest number of goals (10) and conceding just one. While France on the other hand have huffed and puffed with one win and two draws.
However, in this tie England will be looking to beat France for the first time since 1974.
So much to look forward to in the quarter finals of the Women’s EURO in the Netherlands. And the show starts tonight!
Netherlands vs Sweden – 18:00
Germany vs Denmark – 20:45
Austria vs Spain – 18:00
England vs France – 20:45