Germany registered their second 1-0 win in succession at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup on Wednesday, with Sara Dabritz's first-half goal seeing them past Spain.
It was Spain who bossed long spells of the contest, only for some slack defensive play to undo their good work in the 42nd minute. Dabritz was fastest to react at the back post to a loose ball, sliding past her marker to turn home from close range.
The win for Germany sees them guarantee a spot in the knockout stages, having already beaten China in their Group B opener. Spain still have China to face and know a win will be enough for them to advance, too.
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Spain flew out of the traps and had a number of chances to take the lead in the game.
Nahikari Garcia was the biggest threat for La Roja, as she was foiled by Almuth Schult inside the first minute. The Spain forward then appeared set to pull the trigger in a dangerous area, only for Sara Doorsoun to get back and make a crucial intervention.
Women's football writer Jen O'Neill commented on what had been an impressive spell early on:
Germany were finding their opponents tough to cut through and when they did eventually sneak in front three minutes before the break it was largely down to poor defending.
Alexandra Popp's header was smartly saved by goalkeeper Sandra Panos and Spain captain Marta Torrejon appeared to get to the rebound first. However, she dallied in possession in a dangerous area, allowing Dabritz to slide ahead of her and bundle the ball over the line.
BBC's Match of the Day shared footage of the unusual goal:
The Germany Twitter account noted Dabritz has been pretty prolific at World Cups, having given her side a lead against the run of play at the break:
While Spain were in control of possession in the second period, there was more positive signs for Germany after half time. Popp again prompted Panos into action, before Klara Buhl's effort was pounced upon by the Spain stopper.
There was a moment of controversy on the hour-mark as Spain sought to get back into the contest. Lucia Garcia appeared set to race onto a through ball, only to be tripped by Verena Schweers. However, the Germany player was only shown a yellow card.
In the final stages, Spain ran out of ideas and in the crucial moments it was Germany who operated with more assurance. Per Squawka Football, when it comes to the group stages of this competition they are adept at getting the job done:
Spain have the makings of a fine side. The manner in which they build play is pleasing to watch, as is the individual technical ability of some of their players. Even so, if they're to progress at the France showpiece, they need some incision to match their possession play.
Germany have been far from their best in their two games so far, although you suspect they'll improve as the tournament goes on. At the moment, their rock-solid defence appears set to provide a platform for another deep run at the World Cup.