Euro 2017 - Denmark 1-0 Belgium: Danes edge out Belgium in Group A

The second match in Group A of the UEFA Women's Euro 2017 kicked off not too long after the first one had ended on Sunday evening and it was Denmark that picked up all three points after a tough outing against Belgium.

A sixth minute goal by Sanne Troelsgaard ended up being the only goal of the game and earned the Danes a good start to their Euro 2017 campaign.

Troelsgaard's goal comes after some early pressure from Denmark

Pernille Harder was at the heart of Denmark's attacks | Source:
Pernille Harder was at the heart of Denmark's attacks | Source:

Denmark started the game on the front foot and earned their early goal through constant pressure of the Belgian backline. In the fifth minute, Elke Van Gorp fouled Nadia Nadim right at the edge of the box and this allowed Pernille Harder to take a direct free-kick in a good position for the VfL Wolfsburg striker. Her free-kick was then parried onto the cross bar by goalkeeper Justien Odeurs and Troelsgaard was the quickest to react, jumping higher then everyone else and powering home the opening goal from close range.

Belgium seemed to settle into the match after their poor start and almost found the leveller in the 12th minute when Maud Coutereels lifted the ball into the box where it was met by Tessa Wullaert at the near post but the striker was unable to direct it on target. The Belgian midfield began to take control of the game and limited service to Denmark's forwards but their own attack was unable to create enough chances in front of goal to threaten Danish goalkeeper Stina Lyyke Petersen. In fact, it was the Danes who almost got the second goal of the game when Nadim found herself in the six yard box and tried twice to put the ball away but on both occasions, Heleen Jacques put her body in the way to block the shots and kept the game at just one-nil.

Belgium take control of the second half but cannot find the breakthrough

Tessa Wullaert could not give her team the goal they searched for | Source:
Tessa Wullaert could not give her team the goal they searched for | Source:

As had been the case in the latter stages of the first half, Belgium were on top and completely dominated possession in the second half. For most of the half, they were unable to truly test Petersen. It was again the Danes who had the opportunity to score even though they had been under constant pressure since the second half had kicked off. The only time the Belgians threatened early on was in the 52nd minute when Coutereels got her head to a corner kick and nodded it goalward. Janice Cayman was on hand to try and redirect the header with a little flick but her effort went straight into Petersen's hands. In the 69th minute, Harder found her way through to the byline and squared the ball to a waiting Maja Kildemoes. The ball took a strange bobble on the ground and the substitute was unable to make a good enough connection to punish Belgium at that point in the game.

Belgium almost found their way to an equalizer late in the game. Their first chance came in the 88th minute when another corner kick found it's way onto a Danish defender's head and the flick on beat her goalkeeper only to come crashing off the crossbar and away from danger. Two minutes later, Line Røddik Hansen made a brilliant goal line save after Aline Zeler had found some space to get her shot away. That two minute salvo was the best opportunity for Belgium to find their way back into the game but they were unfortunate and could not find their way onto the score sheet, succumbing to their first defeat at the competition.