Popp nets on Euros debut as Germany crush Denmark after Spain dispatch Finland
ALEXANDRA POPP helped Germany burst 10-player Denmark’s bubble in a 4-0 demolition at Brentford Stadium.
The legendary forward netted a dream Women’s Euros debut goal that wrapped up a masterclass display with the 2017 finalists routed.
And the Danes’ disappointing defeat was compounded with Kathrine Kuhl sent off in the third minute of stoppage time.
The result saw the eight-time Euros champs go top of Group B on goal difference with Spain currently second after they trounced Finland.
And hosts England could potentially face a quarter-final duel with either Germany or Spain should the three sides progress beyond the contest’s last 16.
Denmark got off to a positive start in the opening minutes against Germany who last won the tournament in 2013.
Skipper Pernille Harder found Rikke Madsen before her pass into the box was cleared.
But from then on Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s aces took the game by the scruff of the neck, pressuring Denmark with their pressing.
Their efforts were rewarded with Lina Magull smashing in a 20th-minute opener moments after Denmark stopper Lene Christiansen saved her volley.
And Denmark had a chance of their own near the half-hour mark with Signe Bruun stinging Merle Frohms palms with a hooked shot.
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After a short spell of pressure from Harder and her team-mates Magull was denied a chance of making it two close to half-time.
The second spell saw Germany double their lead with Lea Schuller heading home moments before Denmark’s triple substitution in the 57th minute.
Nadia Nadim, Kathrine Moller Kuhl and Mille Gejl Jensen entered the fray replacing Sanne Troelsgaard, Signe Bruun and Rikke Madsen.
Later Germany had a goal disallowed with just under 15 minutes of normal time left before Lena Lettwein made it 3-0 with a strike at the near post.
Then veteran striker Popp netted their fourth with a bullet header,
It was her first goal ever scored at a Euros having missed Germany’s 2013 triumph and their 2017 campaign due to injury.
That moment saw the Wolfsburg striker mobbed by her team-mates after scoring her 54th international goal on her 115th appearance for her country.
Elsewhere Spain battled back from conceding a shock first-minute goal to thrash Finland 4-1 at the MK stadium.
Linda Sallstrom latched on to a superb long ball from Anna Westerlund to fire past keeper Sandra Panos.
But Spain’s pass masters, whose injured skipper Alexis Putellas was watching from the stands, hit back with some classy set-piece goals.
First with stand-in skipper Irena Paredes heading home in the 25th minute following a corner.
They then took the lead close to half-time with Aitana Bonmati nodding them in front following a fine delivery from Mapi Leon.
Another Leon cross into the box saw Lucia Garcia direct the ball past keeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela to make it 3-1 in the 75th minute.
And Mariona Caldentey wrapped up the win smashing a penalty home following a foul on Marta Cordona.