Denmark captain, Pernille Harder could barely contain her joy as she spoke to LadiesMarch at the mixed zone of the Sparta Stadion in Rotterdam on Sunday. She had just led her team to a stunning 2-1 victory over Germany, notably ending the defending champions’ reign as UEFA Women’s EURO title holders six times in a row.
An early goal for the Germans in the third minute through Isabel Kerschowski did set the tone for a first half they largely dominated. However the second period saw a much improved performance from the Danes with their equalizer coming in the 48th minute. Then the winning goal – after several attempts from both sides – also went the way of Nils Nielsen’s charges.
All efforts by Steffi Jones’ Germany to get back on level terms afterwards proved futile and it was Denmark celebrating at the final whistle.
Harder said: “It means a lot. It shows that we are a good team when we play our best. And it’s a big thing for the football and women’s football in Denmark that we have done so well here.”
Prior to the encounter against Germany, Harder viewed her team’s defense as key to their progress considering they had conceded just once in the group stage – a penalty in their 1-0 loss to the Netherlands. Hence, Kerschowski’s third minute strike must have startled them for a bit but they recovered well enough to seal the win, and credit must be given to the backline and goalkeeper for shutting out dominant Germany for the remainder of the match.
“I think we did good,” Harder who plies her trade with Wolfsburg said to LadiesMarch. “We knew that the game would be like it was, that Germany would have a lot of the ball and we should just be pretty good in the box and when we win the ball we should go on transitions and I think we did that really good in the second half.”
Having crossed this hurdle of which very few gave them a chance, Austria or Spain will be next on the agenda for Denmark in the last four and Harder has declared that they “would do everything to get to the final” regardless of their next opponents.