Match report: Germany held to draw in Euro opener
Holding European Champions Germany were held to a 0-0 draw by Sweden in their opening match in Group B. In what was built more to be like a knockout fixture.
It was the Swedes who started the better of the two going close inside 5 minutes when Linda Sembrant met Olivia Schough’s cross but could only head wide of the target.
Kristin Demann thought she had put Germany ahead on 7 minutes as she cracked a left footed shot just over from outside the box. A minute later Germany were nearly ahead as Chelsea stopper Hedvig Lindahl made a superb stop to keep out Svenja Huth’s header from a Lina Magull corner.
Sweden were holding firm going into the game having never beaten Germany at a major tournament but on 12 minutes they were inches from taking the lead as Jessica Samuelsson crossed low for Lotta Schelin but she fired wide from twelve yards out.
Kosovare Asllani who applies her trade with Manchester City was next to try her luck for the Swedes but her effort was blocked by Huth at the last minute.
In what was a very tight game the Germans came close on 33 minutes when Anja Mittag played in Magull her shot was well dealt with by the outstretched Lindahl.
German manager Stefi Jones was then forced into a change on 39 minutes as Svenja Huth limped off she was replaced by the Bundesligas leading goalscorer Mandy Islacker.
Germany were so close to taking the lead on 52 minutes as Dzsenifer Marozsán hit a thumping strike sweet as a nut the ball was set for the net only for Lindahl to make a flying save to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Sara Däbritz was next to try her luck for the Germans but her effort was well blocked by Fridolina Rolfö just as the ball looked like it was beating Lindahl all ends up.
As the game began to open up the chances started to come round as Sembrant met another Samuelsson cross but could only direct her header wide of the target.
Islacker then had the clearest opening for Germany on 65 minutes as she fizzed her shot wide after Carolin Simon had taken out the Swedish defence with a superb cross.
Sweden then came closest to breaking the deadlock as Stina Blackstenius strike was well kept out by the dive of Wolfsburg keeper Almuth Schult.
Germany then immediately went on the break the ball falling to the feet of the impressive Marozsán before she whistled her effort wide of the left hand post.
Sweden were playing with a new found confidence and if not for another good save from Schult would have been ahead after Schelin a pass from Asllani but her shot was pushed away by the keeper.
With time running out it was Germany who created the best opportunity of the game as Islacker was played in one on one but she rushed her shot before Lindahl tipped the ball over when she really should have scored from such a good position.
Leonie Maier thought she had stolen the points for the holders on 85 minutes but her shot was once again well dealt with by the experienced Lindahl. The final real talking point of the match was another German chance as Josephine Henning got on the end of a corner but she could only direct her effort over the top.