ERFURT, Germany – Spain’s national women’s soccer team battled to a 0-0 draw on Tuesday against second-ranked Germany, which saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end.
Playing without star Hungarian-born midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan at Steigerwaldstadion, Germany struggled in the early going against an ambitious Spanish side that applied high pressure and managed to put opposing net minder Merle Frohms to the test.
But after Amanda Sampedro failed to score in a one-on-one opportunity against Frohms in the 10th minute and then had her free kick saved by the German goalie nine minutes later, the tenor of the match changed.
Forward Alexandra Popp started asserting her presence on the field, while Germany also began showing its strength in dead-ball situations.
In one foray into Spain’s area late in the first half, Germany unsuccessfully clamored for a penalty after goalkeeper Lola Gallardo brought down Johanna Elsig in the area.
Gallardo was injured on the play and replaced by Sandra Paños after the intermission.
Both teams had excellent chances in the second half, but Popp overcooked a clear shot on goal in the 73rd minute and Spain’s Patri Guijarro squandered an equally golden opportunity in the 80th minute.
The result extended 12th-ranked Spain’s undefeated streak dating back to mid-2017 and indicates that La Roja, whose line-up is practically set seven months before the start of the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, remains on the right track.
Spain will next take on the United States, the world’s top-ranked team and defending World Cup champions, in a friendly in January.
Germany, meanwhile, played its last match Tuesday under the guidance of interim head coach Horst Hrubesch, who took over the squad when Steffi Jones was fired in March and led it to seven straight wins.
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, who is currently coaching the Swiss women’s national team, will be on the sidelines for the Germans in their next contest.