LONDON ( Associated Press) – A record number of fans at the Women’s European Championship have been treated to a star from hosts England even as she suffered a record-breaking heatwave.
A day of rest on Tuesday between the end of the group stage and England facing Spain in the first quarter-final, luckily coincided with the worst heat ever seen before hitting 40 degrees (104 F). was ready. This has led to health warnings, as well as widespread disruption of trains and flights.
The last game of the group stage introduced a cooling break in between each half, a measure rarely required for games in Northern Europe.
Strong start for England
The hosts have a decent shot at winning their first major women’s soccer tournament, a position underscored by Norway’s 8–0 demolition.
England had the best record of any team in the group stage – most points, 14 goals scored and none conceded – and Beth Mead is the tournament scoring leader with five goals and three assists.
After starting with a tense 1–0 win over Austria, England were quick and aggressive from the start as they defeated two of the world’s top forwards in Norway Ada Hegerberg and Caroline Graham Hansen. England beat Northern Ireland 5-0 after coach Sarina Wigman tested positive for coronavirus.
The buzz around England has been a factor in posting record crowd numbers at the tournament, including 68.871 for the opening game. at Old Trafford.
Virus, Injury Teams
Wegmann is addressing his players via video link as he looks to recover from COVID-19 in time for England’s quarter-finals with his major absence against the Spain team on Wednesday.
Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas tore a knee ligament the day before the tournament began and was ruled out. He is one of the many star players sidelined due to injury or illness.
Forward Vivien Miedema, who averages almost a goal for the Netherlands and was a key part of the championship-winning team in 2017, has missed the last two Dutch games with COVID-19.
The Netherlands fought hard to beat Portugal and Switzerland without Miedema and qualified to play France in a much-anticipated quarter-final on Saturday. Backup goalkeeper Daphne van Domseler impressed first-choice Sari van Veenendaal in the opening game after suffering a tournament-end shoulder injury.
Cases of the virus have been reported in nearly half of the championship’s 16 teams. Germany coach Martina Vos-Tecklenburg has particularly strongly criticized UEFA’s refusal to expand its squad from 23 to 26 to deal with virus cases, as it did for the men’s European Championship last year. .
Germany was once the undisputed superpower of women’s football in Europe, winning eight of the nine European Championships from 1989 to 2013.
Since its last major title at the 2016 Olympics, Germany has not progressed beyond the quarter-finals of any tournament and its best clubs have been financially outnumbered by rising powers in England and Spain.
Euro 2022 could mark a German revival. Voss-Tecklenburg’s team defeated Denmark, Spain and Finland in the group stage without scoring a goal. Next on Thursday is the quarter-finals in which defense-first Austria qualified with a narrow win over Norway.
Sweden will take on Belgium on Friday with hopes of returning to the semi-finals for the first time since 2013, but reportedly have three virus cases in their squad. Belgium are delighted to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since their 1-0 win over Italy on Monday.
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