La nouvelle pelouse au stade du Hainaut le 29 juin 2017. Photo : Fran├žois LO PRESTI Valenciennes Metropole. Photo provided by FIFA Official Media Channel - Editorial use only.

Arsenal’s summer signing Maier an unused substitute as Germany see off Spain

Arsenal-bound defender Leonie Maier was an unused substitute for Germany as they defeated Spain 1-0 at the Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes this evening.

The 26-year-old has agreed to join The Gunners next season with the player leaving Bundesliga Frauen club Bayern Munich.

The Germans started their second FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 Group B match somewhat sluggishly with Spanish striker Nahikari Garcia twice being allowed to race away of the defence. The first occasion saw the German back-line catch her while she fired a poor effort off target in her second burst.

Further sloppy play from Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side then gifted Silvia Meseguer the opportunity to take aim from the edge of the box but like Garcia, she was unable to trouble German keeper Almuth Schult.

Germany’s first effort of the half saw Svenja Huth shoot straight at Sandra Panos before the Germans took the lead three minutes before the break. Huth’s cross was met by the head of Alexandra Popp, Schult saved her effort but the loose ball was bundled over the line by Sara Daebritz, a really scrappy goal.

Garcia was again wasteful early in the second half when she headed a great chance wide but luckily for her, she was deemed to be in an offside position.

Germany were also guilty of wayward finishing with Popp rising unmarked but heading the ball straight into the arms of Panos while substitute Klara Buehl did the same after creating some space to shoot inside the box.

Daebritz went close to doubling Germany’s lead 15 minutes from time but unfortunately for her, Spanish keeper Panos was able to track her headed effort through a forest of players.

Panos will have had her heart in her mouth six minutes from time when she failed to connect with a Lina Magull free-kick but the ball bounced wide, while Buehl and Magull both wasted glorious chances to make it 2-0 in the closing stages.

Germany went on to win the match by that single goal, their second consecutive victory by a 1-0 scoreline in Group B.

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