The German team seemed tired in the near 90 degree heat, languid and unable to push themselves against a more aggressive Swedish group. Only in the final 10 minutes did the Germans go hard. By then it was too late. With Germany out of the action Team USA could meet Sweden in the final match on July 7. In Group Play the Americans bested the Swedes 2-0 in a tough match. See Blog post 6.20.2019 when I wrote the USA “Smothered” Sweden.
Deutsche Welle 6.29.2019
Despite taking the lead in their quarterfinal against Sweden, Germany’s World Cup tournament came to an end. Sweden executed a brilliant matchplan to expose Germany’s weaknesses emege victorious 2-1.
After 24 years of not beating Germany in big tournaments, Sweden finally overcame their poor run of form to seal a deserved win. Germany are the first team to score first and not progress at this tournament.
It all started so well for Germany, when Lina Magull scored a superb scissor kick after a brilliant assist by Sara Däbritz.
That goal seemed to wake Sweden up though, and not long afterwards Marina Hegering misjudged a long ball, Sofia Jakobsson latched onto it and fired past Almuth Schult.
“We are in process, but it’s not stable yet. We have to defend better,” Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said afterwards.
From that point on, Germany looked rattled and despite cooling breaks and halftime, they couldn’t settle. Three minutes after the restart, Schult’s great save wasn’t enough to prevent Sweden from scoring as Stina Blackstenius stabbed home the rebound. Germany felt somewhat aggrieved that a tackle on Magull in the build up to the goal wasn’t seen as a foul by referee Stephanie Frappart.
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg had brought on Dzsenifer Marozsan at the break, in the hope of seeing an increase in creative play but the Germany star was kept relatively quiet.
With time running out, 17-year-old talent Lena Oberdorf was thrown on and she instantly gave Germany more dynamism. Alexandra Popp got to a header but was called offside. The decision was a close one, and needed VAR to confirm. Had Popp not been offside, it seemed Germany were due a penalty as Popp was also clattered by Swedish keeper Hedvig Lindahl. (photo shown above).
“We lacked a bit of fortune, and that hurts. We lacked attacking penetration. In some passages, we weren’t clinical or brave enough. We will grow,” Voss-Tecklenburg said afterwards.
In added time, Germany had two more chances. First Oberdorf headed wide with the goal at her mercy, and then Hegering couldn’t keep her header down. It was too little, too late from this Germany team who exit the tournament having learned lessons that should see a young squad come back stronger in the future.