Euro 2022 Overview — Quarter-Finals — Business Time

ENGLAND vs. SPAIN

The hosts versus the favourites.
The fact that England are the hosts is undisputed, but the fact that Spain were favourites is probably reserved for pre-tournament. Though they showed their might against Finland, they were put over the knee of the Germans and then struggled tactically against a lacklustre Danish side. On the flipside, England have recovered from a nervy opener against Austria to dominate their way through Norway and Northern Ireland.
By the nature of the quarter-finals though, one bad day can see you on your ear, and while these two sides find bad days few and far between, good days can be just as detrimental, for the opponent of course.

WOMAN OF THE MATCH: Millie Bright — England. There were several candidates from both sides, but Bright repelled Spain’s every foray in a performance that would see a tactical change that let her nation in.

GERMANY vs. AUSTRIA

A load of folk had Austria down as some kind of massive underdog here. When you look at their opponents, sure, you can see why they might think that, but I reckon it’s actually just some leftovers of the men’s game, where there’s a larger gulf between the two nations.
In this game however, no such gulf appeared. There was a difference, and it was clear, but any kind of textbook victory was to be found in the fiction section.

WOMAN OF THE MATCH: Klara Bühl — Germany. Linked up smoother than anyone on the pitch when it came to linking her wing with the centre channels, evidenced by her assist for the first goal.

SWEDEN vs. BELGIUM

In the stable of Black Beauty for this battle of the dark horses. Belgium hold the mantle due to their lower ranking and the fact that they were the closest of the eight not to make it to this stage. Sweden hold it because of a conservative style that doesn’t inspire thrashings in the traditional sense, but can absolutely do an opponent in mentally. The latter went in as favourites, and they’ve purred throughout the tournament, anticipating the right time to pounce.

WOMAN OF THE MATCH: Nicky Evrard — Belgium. After a tremendous group stage, she shone once more here, stopping the Swedes from running away with it, even if she couldn’t stop them taking it.

FRANCE vs. NETHERLANDS

Hailed as the clash of the quarters and the tourney having saved the best for last, England and Spain must have felt pushed to the side. The defending champions in a greater state of disarray then they’ve ever seen (not that much of one) versus the giants of the game who have never advanced beyond this stage, reaching the final eight and no further three times in seven appearances. Either the curse would continue, or we were guaranteed fresh hands on the trophy come tournament’s end.

WOMAN OF THE MATCH: Grace Geyoro — France. No hat-trick necessary to control a game from the middle of the park. She protected her defence and sprung attacks throughout the ninety, continuing to plug away despite the lack of a reward.
  • England vs. Sweden
  • Germany vs. France

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C.L.R.

C.L.R.

Freshly squeezed football content. Mostly.