If you take a look at the knockout round bracket, you know the importance of Wednesday’s game between Germany and Spain. The winner of Group B has a pretty clear path to the semifinals assuming the chalk holds up in other groups. The team that finishes first will play a third-place team from another group in the Round of 16 and either the runner-up from Group F or Group E in the quarterfinals. However, the second place team will likely play the United States in the Round of 16, and if they happen to somehow win that match, a game with France likely awaits. Neither Germany or Spain want to finish second with that potential slate.
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Germany vs. Spain
- Date and Time: June 12, 2019, 12 p.m. ET
- Location: Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes, France
- US Television Coverage: FOX
- Betting Line: Germany -0.5, O/U 2.5
These teams both earned three points in their first match, but neither Germany or Spain looked sharp.
The Germans were uncharacteristically porous in defense for the first half of their match against China. The Steel Roses had a few great opportunities to score and a better team would have potted two or three goals in the back of the net. Fortunately for Germany, they were unable to score, and the Germans tightened up the defense and didn’t allow acres of space for China to run through in the second half.
That good fortune was also seen in Germany’s lone goal. Giulia Gwinn broke the scoreless deadlock in the 66th minute with a seeing-eye goal that weaved its way around and through multiple defenders. China’s goalkeeper couldn’t pick the ball up until late, and that was enough for Germany to secure a 1-0 win.
Spain had a more impressive win according to the final score, but in actuality they struggled even more than the Germans and against a less talented foe to boot. South Africa took a 1-0 lead into halftime on La Roja, and all of Spain’s possession in the midfield amounted to squat as they were unable to break through. It looked as if Spain may miss out on a vital three points, but some South African errors at the back led to Spain’s first World Cup victory.
A hand ball in the box led to Spain leveling off of a Jenni Hermoso penalty in the 70th minute, and a foul in the penalty area led to Hermoso giving Spain the lead from the spot 13 minutes later. Lucia Garcia locked up the win in the 89th minute to give Spain a vital three points.
Germany Player to Watch
This was supposed to be Dzsenifer Marozsan’s breakout World Cup, but it’s been a disappointment through one game. Marozsan was unable to crack through China’s back line, and the Germans need her to have more success this time around. She has been one of the best club players in the world for the last few seasons, so Germany is counting on a return to form.
Spain Player to Watch
Before the World Cup kicked off, the one critique observers had with Spain was how often all their possession was for naught. That criticism bore fruit once more in La Roja’s first match, and it will be up to Alexia Putellas to flip the script. She is the most talented player in the midfield, and she has to get the ball to Jenni Hermoso in dangerous areas. This will be much more difficult to do against Germany than it was against South Africa though.
Germany vs. Spain Free Picks
I believe that Germany will pick up the victory here. Their midfield will control the run of play, and that will frustrate Spain. Marozsan will have a much better outing and have a hand in at least one German goal.
Germany vs. Spain Prediction: Germany 2, Spain 0
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