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England vs. Dänemark: Zwei Bayern-Stars treffen aufeinander – Zweiter Spieltag in Gruppe D

England and Denmark Set to Battle for Place in Knockout Round

After their close victories in the opening match of the World Cup, England and Denmark will face off in a crucial game to advance to the knockout round. Two players from Bayern Munich will be in the spotlight.

British midfielder Georgia Stanway and Danish striker Pernille Harder will be competing against each other on Friday (July 28, 2023, 10:30 AM CEST, live on ARD and sportschau.de) in Sydney as part of Group D’s second match. Both players will be teammates at Bayern Munich for the upcoming season.

Stanway saves England from a shaky start

Stanway had an eventful start to the tournament. The midfielder, who recently won the championship with Bayern, prevented a stumbling start from the highly regarded reigning European champions England on the first matchday. In their 1-0 victory against debutants Haiti, the team led by coach Sarina Wiegman failed to impress. Perhaps the last focus was missing, as the discussion before the match was mainly about the expected margin of victory against the underdogs.

The Lionesses have represented world-class football for years and are eager to clinch the World Cup title. Despite the dramatic near-stumble at the beginning, England’s goal remains within reach. They demonstrated their skills against Haiti by attempting crosses and shots to put the underdog under pressure. However, the final execution was lacking, as Haiti played physically and created danger on counterattacks. In the end, only the points matter, and England secured them, supported by a huge fan base in Australia and New Zealand.

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Stanway celebrated her successful penalty kick, which she converted on the second attempt, as a „relief“. The Bayern star took responsibility for the penalty and was fortunate that her missed penalty in the first attempt went unpunished. The 24-year-old initially failed to score against Haiti’s goalkeeper Kerly Théus, who had moved too early. But Stanway made no mistake on the second attempt.

Denmark knows England perfectly well

Pernille Harder, who played for Chelsea until the summer and won the league and FA Cup with them, had a less prominent role in Denmark’s opening game. Her time in England was formative and educational, particularly in terms of understanding English football. She is not the only insider, as six current Danish national team players play for clubs in England.

Although the coaching team could skip the video analysis, they won’t, as England’s vulnerability was evident in the match against Haiti. The underdog Denmark will do everything to challenge the favorite. Sixteen years after their return to the world stage, Denmark does not want their journey to end in the group stage.

Harder can make the difference

For Denmark to go far, Harder will need to perform exceptionally. In the opening game, the undisputed star player remained relatively inconspicuous, but she delivered the assist for Amalie Vangsgaard’s late goal in the fortunate 1-0 victory against China. Harder took the corner kick that Vangsgaard converted.

Statistically, Harder scores in every other international game, with 70 goals in 142 matches. She made her debut for the Danish national team at the age of 16 and her career has been on the rise ever since. Between 2017 and 2020, she showcased her offensive skills for VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga and was twice named „UEFA Women’s Player of the Year.“ In 2020, Harder transferred to London for the then-record fee of 350,000 euros. Now she is returning to the Bundesliga and playing alongside England’s playmaker, Georgia Stanway. It will be a premier event, just like the World Cup match, as England and Denmark will face each other for the first time in a World Cup.

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China against Haiti under pressure

In the second match of Group D, China and Haiti will fight for survival on Friday (July 28, 2023, 1 PM CEST, live on ARD and sportschau.de). The loser of this match will be eliminated if there is a winner between England and Denmark. This would be the first group stage exit for China. In their seven previous appearances, the team from China has advanced at least to the Round of 16. On the contrary, Haiti made their World Cup debut and made a good impression in their narrow 0-1 loss against England.

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