Euro 2022 Women’s Team Guide #5: Denmark | Women’s Euro 2022
This article is part of the Guardian’s Women’s Euro 2022 Expert Network, a cooperation between some of the top media organizations from the 16 countries that have qualified. theguardian.com is streaming daily previews from two countries ahead of the tournament which begins on July 6.
After finishing runners-up at Euro 2017, it hurts not to see Denmark at the 2019 World Cup. A pay dispute with the Danish FA (DBU) led to the team forfeiting a game against Sweden , finishing second in the group behind their neighbors before losing a play-off to the Netherlands.
Missing out on the World Cup seems to have lit a collective fire in the team, however and in this summer’s Euro qualifiers and next year’s World Cup they have been ruthless. For the Euro, they beat Group B ahead of Italy. The Danes impressed with a particularly solid defence, conceding just one goal, while at the other end they scored 48 goals in 10 games. Chelsea star Pernille Harder explained: “[The manager] Lars Søndergaard has given us a distinctive and attractive way of playing and it is important to us that we play good football.
Sødergaard also changed from the more traditional 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 to a 3-4-3 formation with wingers, allowing players such as Sofie Svava, Sara Thrige and Janni Thomsen to thrive on the flanks. As the center is a particular specialty of this team, Denmark fill the penalty area with attacking players – as well as the opposite full-back – to bring more players into goalscoring positions.
The one-year postponement of the euro could give Denmark an advantage. They have just qualified for their first World Cup since 2007 and the confidence is there. Denmark also has, like several other countries, a host of young players arriving. Søndergaard even said when the tournament was postponed: “This team has a great mix of experience and hasn’t peaked yet. There are a lot of players who will only get better.
And, indeed, the past 12 months have seen players such as Svava, Signe Bruun, Kathrine Møller Kühl and goalkeeper Lene Christensen develop further and become even greater assets to the team.