Sweden Deny Dominant Germany as Russia Surprise Italy

Sweden held Germany to a goalless draw in Breda as group B finishes its first round of games.

Germany had beaten Sweden 11 times in the last 11 meetings between the two sides and came into the tournament having won the last 6 European Championship finals. The game started off in similar fashion to the Netherlands v Norway game but with less opportunities being created. For all Germany’s possession (61%) they couldn’t break down a resilient and well organised Swedish defence. Germany created opportunities to shoot 17 times but only managed to get 5 on target with their best chance presenting itself to Mandy Islacker who angled just wide in the second half.

So, it ended a point a piece for Germany and Sweden as Russia ended their 16 game losing streak with a surprise 2-1 win over Italy. In the 9th minute Elena Danilova’s sublime first touch gave her a bit of space on the outside of the box before she belted the ball into the bottom right corner past Chiara Marchitelli. Elena Morozova then doubled Russia’s lead by heading home in the 26th minute as the Italian defence couldn’t cope with her movement. The first half ended 2-0 with Italy offering very little in the way of creativity. In the second half Melania Gabbiadini forced a terrific save from 19 year old goalkeeper Tatyana Shcherbak early on but never really applied enough pressure until the final 10 minutes. Ilaria Mauro gave Italy hope in the 88th minute with an intelligent run and a soft flick past Shcherbak to make it 2-1. Russian nerves were bound to be shot and nails soundly bitten off as Elisa Bartoli slotted home Gabbiadini’s cross come shot shortly after Mauro have given them a lifeline. It was, however, ruled out for offside. Italy peppered the Russian goal for the entirety of injury time with the most significant moment a Bartoli header from close range that was spectacularly  pushed onto the bar by an impressive Shcherbak to give Russia a valuable three points.

Group B

Played Won Draw Lost For Against Goal difference Points
Russia
1 1 0 0 2 1 1 3
Germany
1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Sweden
1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Italy
1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0