When Lina Magull has the ball at her feet, spectators can look forward to special moments. The 27-year-old is responsible for creativity in the German team and is known for her calmness on the ball. On Friday evening against Denmark, there was also this unconditional will to win, which was particularly evident in her goal to make it 1-0.
“Lina did it with absolute conviction. We attacked high again and she forced this mistake,” said national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg. “I told her before the game, today is a moment and it will be a big one and that was it. But she also played so fantastically.”
Magull was involved in nearly every offensive move, throwing herself into tackles and infecting her teammates with her determination, body language many wanted to see her do. A failure of the footballer from FC Bayern Munich would be all the more bitter. During training on Monday, she was unable to train fully due to minor thigh problems. A purely precautionary measure, as the DFB announced.
The system with a back four in defence, three central midfielders and three forwards worked perfectly against Denmark. In addition to Magull, Lena Oberdorf from VfL Wolfsburg, who played as the only six, was particularly noticeable. The 20-year-old is as intelligent as Magull and Sara Däbritz, who completed the midfield. With her physique, Oberdorf is the perfect complement in the headquarters behind the two game designers Magull and Däbritz.
Oberdorf was planned as a backup, but thanks to Däbritz, was often able to step forward and sometimes pressed the Danish defense just as high as Magull. Despite her young age, it’s her second big tournament and you can tell.
At the beginning of her career in the national team, Voss-Tecklenburg increasingly used her in central defense, which she can also play. But then she became a regular in defensive midfield. Oberdorf feels at home there and, thanks to her physical presence, is able to assert herself and win important defensive duels, as the Danish star player Pernille Harder felt several times on Friday.
Germany’s aggressive pressing was the key to success in the game against Denmark. The Danish players tried to free themselves from the pressure situations with a short passing game, but this didn’t work and gave Germany chances to score.
With the upcoming opponent Spain on Tuesday evening (9 p.m., ARD), things could look a little different. “Spain will challenge us differently. We have to play very good pressing and stay compact because they like to play their way through the ranks with their short passing game,” said defender Marina Hegering before the game. “They will put us under pressure early on, so we have to have our solutions ready. We have to give each other security. Communication on the pitch will be a crucial factor.”
The Spaniards master this short passing game in a confined space like no other team at the European Championship. They want to have as much possession of the ball as possible and like to look for the deep runs. That could become a problem for the German defense. The Spaniards are definitely weakened by the absence of world footballer Alexia Putellas and record goalscorer Jennifer Hermoso, but with the 4-1 win against Finland they impressively proved that they are comfortable without her most important offensive duo are dangerous. The two midfielders Aitana Bonmatí and Patricia Guijarro, a well-rehearsed duo from FC Barcelona, were particularly convincing against the Finns.
But the Germans also made an impressive start to the tournament with the win against Denmark, which initially was no more than a good basis, as Voss-Tecklenburg and captain Svenja Huth emphasized several times. The German team around Magull, Oberdorf and Däbritz now has to confirm their strong performance.
In addition to Magull, Sydney Lohmann only trained to a limited extent on Sunday, but both will probably be fit again in time. Striker Lea Schüller, who tested positive for the corona virus on Monday, will definitely be absent. Alexandra Popp should be in the starting XI for them.