Discover more from Flying Geese
Day 9: From Bachmann to Bennison
I certainly did not have Group C turning out to be the most exciting group at the Euros on my bingo card, BUT like with many things, I was wrong. Neither of last night’s games finished unexpectedly - Sweden beat Switzerland 2-1 and the Netherlands beat Portugal 3-2 - but both games saw the favourites put under a lot of pressure to get the three points. Because Sweden and the Netherlands drew the opener, the final group games leave everything to play for. Both Switzerland and Portugal look like teams who could cause their more talented opposition serious issues.
Thanks for reading Flying Geese! If you are not already, you can subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Watching Sweden play football can feel like looking at something without your glasses on. Through the blur, they seem to be the better team but when you actually watch clearly, they are rarely doing much that actually proves them to be the better team. The first half was particularly laboured but as the game went on and Switzerland tired, they began to find gaps in the Swiss defence (resisting the urge to make a cheese joke). Despite all the free space for Sweden’s attackers to run into, poor finishing (as Taylor Swift would say “I think I’ve seen this film before”) meant that they relied on an amazing goal by Hanna Bennison to secure the win.
(How is Bennison leaning in the opposite direction and then generating that much power on the ball?!)
It was particularly fitting that Bennison scored because the reason that Sweden were drawing was because of an equally fantastic goal from Ramona Bachmann. These two players are at the opposite ends of their careers, but Bennison grew up idolising Bachmann when she was in the academy at Rosengard and Bachmann was in the first team.
The nineteen year old Bennison is incredibly hyped with Everton having signed her from Rosengard for a six figure fee at the start of last season. But then they only started her ten times. Don’t ask me why - she literally was their only good player for large portions of the season, but that club was a basketcase last year.
Bachmann meanwhile is a player who seems to defy time. Now 31 years old, she has continually resisted being pushed aside. When she left Chelsea for Paris St-Germain, it was hard to see how she would have an impact on a team who already had Sandy Baltimore, Kadidiatou Diani and Marie-Antoinette Katoto as a front three. But her goal in extra-time for them this season against Bayern Munich sent them to the Champions League semi-finals.
She is a player who always wants to see herself as the main character in a game but it also means she takes responsibility for her team. Her goal was the first time Switzerland had scored against Sweden in a competitive women’s international. When she is playing for them, she drives them on with a will to win which takes little note of their opposition. There is a world not too far from this one where Switzerland could be top of this group on four points, but with a player like Bachmann, you feel they will still believe they could do something shocking against the Dutch in the final game.