NOS Voetbal•today, 20:42•Changed today, 22:43
England beats Scotland, Wiegman starts Nations League well (2-1)
Sarina Wiegman has had a good start in the Nations League with her England. The losing World Cup finalist won the British match against Scotland 2-1 in the same group as the Netherlands.
For Wiegman there is really something at stake in the Nations League. If she reaches the final with England, she will earn a ticket for the Olympic Games. It recently became clear that the Dutch coach will be allowed to lead the British team there. This consists of players from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
ReutersWiegman on the field during England-Scotland
The British countries have mutually determined that England is the team that can enforce Olympic qualification and that is why this match was a special one. Because if Scotland were to win the Nations League, no British team would go to the Games. For some Scottish football players, England’s victory could therefore be beneficial.
The head as a weapon
The English women were the better against Scotland and deservedly took the lead. Rachel Daly first saw a header goal disallowed, but not much later it was scored.
A measured cross from Katie Zelem was headed against the ropes by Lucy Bronze. The head turned out to be an important weapon, because Lauren Hemp also headed home just before half time.
The Scots did not give up and came back to 2-1 through Kristy Hanson just before half time. Fifteen minutes before the end, Scotland was close to the equalizer, but Hanson’s effort hit the crossbar.
This allowed Wiegman to breathe a sigh of relief. The first win in the Nations League has been achieved.
Relief in Spain
There was also relief in Spain. After a turbulent period, including the infamous kiss and the departure of federation chairman Luis Rubiales, the dismissal of the national coach and a boycott of the players, finally something positive to report. A replay of the World Cup semi-final against Sweden ended in another victory for Spain: 3-2.
And that is special after the players had instituted a boycott because, in their eyes, the culture at the Spanish association had not yet changed. That boycott ended last Wednesday.
The new coach Montse Tomé was then only able to train twice with the remaining players for the match against Sweden. It was therefore a matter of waiting to see how the Spanish football players were physically doing.
AFPStatement of the Spanish women
Before that became clear, Sweden and Spain took joint action against the macho culture in the (football) world. With the text ‘Se Acabó. Our fight is the global fight’, they made it clear that changes are needed. The Spanish players also wore bracelets with the text ‘Se Acabó’, which roughly translates to: ‘It’s over’.
EPAStatement from the Spanish and Swedish women prior to their match
One change is already being implemented in Spain. The football association has decided to remove the word ‘women’ from the name of the team.
“More than a symbolic change, we want this to be a fundamental change,” said the association’s interim president Pedro Rocha.
Spain and Sweden competed equally in football in Scandinavia. Goals from Magdalena Eriksson and Atheana del Castillo made it 1-1 at halftime. After the break, Spain was the better team and deservedly took the lead through Eva Navarro.
AFPSpain equalizes against Sweden
Sweden straightened out and seemed to save a point through Lina Hurtig, but a penalty in the final minute made the decision. Mariona Caldentey made sure that people could finally laugh again in Spain with a striking kick.
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