Prost’s roving Euro War Correspondent Mark Szczuka made his way over to Holland for the Women’s 2017 European Championships
UEFA Women’s Euro 2017
There are few football tournaments in world football that have been dominated so much in recent years by one team as has the UEFA Women’s European Championships – the German team has won it 7 out of the last 8 times !
In an attempt to freshen things up, UEFA increased the number of participating teams at this year’s tournament in The Netherlands from 12 to 16 teams. The expansion is also a positive reflection of the growing popularity of the women’s game in Europe. The change gave a number of teams such as Scotland the opportunity to complete for their very first time at a major championship. And what better way to start for Scotland than a match against their historic rivals England – in general terms this is the oldest rivalry in football with the first ever international match played between the men’s teams way back in 1872 in Scotland. The first ever women’s international match was also played between Scotland and England in 1881, again in Scotland !
Scotland were major under-dogs in this later encounter in the rivalry against England, who had finished 3rd in the most recent World Cup in 2015 in the USA. And despite being cheered on by Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, who was in the crowd in Utrecht near Amsterdam, Scotland were comfortably beaten 6-0.
The tournament progressed with Scotland narrowly missing out on qualifying passed the group stages (they needed to beat Spain 2-0 but could only win 1-0), while England were knocked out in the semi finals by the host nation The Netherlands. Strong favourites Germany were surprising knocked out early on at the quarter final stage by eventual runners-up Denmark. The final was played out in front of a packed stadium (28k fans) in Enschede on Sunday 6 August with The Netherlands defeating Denmark 4-2.
photo – Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon meeting some Scottish fans before the match against England