Welcome back to Euro Roundup. I hope you all enjoyed the first installment and will be looking forward to many more to come. If there’s anything that you would like me to cover in a future roundup or if there’s something you want to find out about football in Europe, feel free to tweet me and I’ll consider it.
January is typically more about International teams with training camps and friendlies occurring this month. This month usually sees teams fly off for sunnier climes and kick off the year with some international training at La Manga. This is a time where each team can work on fitness, techniques, and test out tactics with no risk. These camps become especially important in a qualification or major tournament year.
Teams that have gone out to La Manga include England, Scotland, Spain, Netherlands, Russia, and Norway. The same day that this goes out, the Netherlands will be facing England in a friendly. They haven’t got off to the best of starts at La Manga, however. They faced Spain on the 20th and lost 2-0 thanks to goals from Alexia Putellas and Gema Gili. This marked the end of the 12-game unbeaten run that they had which included the Euros. Other friendlies included Scotland taking on Norway with the Norwegians coming out as 3-0 winners, and Slovakia beating Russia 1-0.
There are friendlies going elsewhere as well. France took on Italy in Marseille as part of their World Cup preparation. The game ended in a 1-1 draw with goals from Amandine Henry and Cristiana Girelli. Sweden traveled to Cape Town to take on South Africa and emerged 3-0 winners with debutant Loreta Kullashi netting a brace.
There has been some league and cup action that has happened since the last roundup but with the international break, it’s been mostly lower leagues that have been in action as well as some cup action.
In cups, the Faxafloi Cup was in action in Iceland with FH beating HK/Vikingur 3-0 and IA winning 4-0 against Grotta. That wasn’t the only cup in action as the Reykjavik Cup occurred with Fylkir, KR, and HK/Vikingur all winning. Italy had one cup match in the Coppa Italia as Tavagnacco thrashed Unterland 6-0. Rounding up the cups in the Netherlands, Wartburgia II were on the end of a 6-0 thrashing thanks to Saestum.
Now to the leagues. In Belgium, there was only one game in the Super League. Genk beat OH Leuven 3-1 to leave OH Leuven 6 points from safety. In the 1st Division, SG-Tertre-Hautrage and Kontich both won to keep their title challenge going with both on the same points but Tertre edging ahead on goal difference. The 2nd Division saw all the bottom three clubs lose in Group A, but Cerkelladies Brugge are level on points with Sottegem who are just above them. Genk II kept their winning run going to keep their 6 point lead intact.
Spain is not only the current site of international friendlies but also has some league action of its own. The 1a Nacional, below the Primera Division, is split into 7 groups. Group 1, 2, 5, and 6 were the groups that played this week. Notable results are Oviedo Moderno winning to go within a point of leaders Deportivo de La Coruña. Osasuna beat Oiartzun 2-0, taking Osasuna above Oiartzun and into 4th in Group 2. Group 5 saw Tacón go top after a 5-2 win against Parquesol. They pushed Atletico Madrid down into 2nd who they lost to the previous week. Finally, Group 6 Las Palmas saw Femarguin go 3 points ahead after beating Firgas 4-0.
Not all lower leagues were so lucky with staging games. Wet and wintery weather hit the FA Women’s Premier League quite badly with just the one match surviving. That match saw Crewe Alexandra take on Chorley in the Division 1 Northern league. Crewe were 1-0 up at half time but persistence from Chorley meant that in the end they won 4-2. Chorley are now a few points behind Crewe in the table.