Farewell to rainy lille, off to the warm south to montpellier – and in the evening the german women"s soccer team had every reason to cheer in their rooms at the team headquarters "crown plaza montpellier corum.
After china’s 1-0 win over sud africa, germany is the first team to advance to the eighth finals of the world cup in france. While the team around national coach martina voss-tecklenburg watched the second game of group B together in an office, the players celebrated their entry into the final.O.-round in small groups or enjoyed it individually.
Because china and spain (each with three points) will be competing against each other in a direct duel at the end of the preliminary round, only one team like the DFB team will be able to reach six points. So the german team will have enough time next monday (18.00 o’clock/ARD) a point against "banyana banyana" for group victory.
The two-time world champions have thus secured an excellent starting position for the rest of the tournament and could probably meet the defending champions USA in the quarterfinals at the earliest. Until then, however, the german team will have to improve considerably. Voss-tecklenburg took her team already with regard to the next game in the duty. "We will not let up. We will not underestimate sud africa in any way."
However, it is part of the game to talk your opponent into being a little stronger than he is. Even though the world cup newcomers did well in their tournament debut against spain (1:3) and also against china, the 49. The world rankings will not embarrass the german team, which is in second place.
"Of course we want to play better football," said the national coach. To achieve this, the team wants to make "two or three adjustments. The actions with the ball, the staggering of the team parts and the communication on the field were the gross weak points.
The german eleven had problems against the strong spanish women, especially in the first round. "We were quite far apart, did not manage to keep the compactness. We were in a real fix in the first few minutes," said captain alexandra popp. The distances had already not been right against china, she said. "There simply has to be better communication between the team parts. Otherwise it’s too easy to overplay us."
Voss-tecklenburg complained: "we still give the ball away too quickly in some phases of the game. We have to make better decisions."Of course, the absence of director dzsenifer marozsan was also noticeable, who is not yet an issue, at least against sudafrica, due to the toe fracture she suffered in the 1-0 opening win against china. "It’s clear that we’re missing dzseni. She did us good today with her ball security," said voss-tecklenburg. Popp made a similar impression. "We hope that dzseni will return soon. Just in the K.O.-phase it is very, very important for us."
The fact that the germans nevertheless emerged victorious against spain was due to the team’s unity and fighting spirit. Sara dabritz’s goal was significant in this respect. Although her spanish opponent was in a better position, the munich player managed to get the ball over the line.
"This was a battle victory. Everyone gave everything today. Now we have six points and can go into the last group game with confidence," said 24-year-old dabritz, who was named best player of the game.
"The important thing is that we take the experience from game to game," voss-tecklenburg stressed. "And that we analyze objectively and cleanly to take the next steps again and again, so that we can then be in K.O.-play are so ready that we have a good security."
With the confidence from the first two matches, it could be easier for the german eleven as the tournament progressed. That is also the hope of goalkeeper almuth schult, whose world cup appearance was temporarily in jeopardy due to shoulder problems and who was a jolt to the team against spain. "Of course we’re happy when it’s easier to play," said the 28-year-old. "But if we can always get it over the fighter’s heart and win 1:0, i don’t really care."