Germany has begun its 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign with two lucky 1-0 victories over China and Spain respectively.
On the other hand, soccer is a results business and if the team continues its success, no one will ask how the wins came about. Beyond that, three points against each of the most difficult opponents in it, will likely see the German side top the hardest group in the tournament.
In doing so, they would avoid a difficult Round of 16 matchup against either defending champions USA, or 2016 Olympic silver medalists Sweden. Instead they will likely face a third-placed finisher from another group, as their first hurdle in the knockout stages.
First things first, they await the outcome of the match between China and South Africa, before taking on the latter in the final match of the group stage.
But their last opposition of the section should certainly be a significantly easier than the first two, no disrespect to the South African Women’s World Cup debutantes.
In their first match, Germany had serious problems with the physical play of the Chinese team, which seemed to be the last thing they expected from the Steel Roses.
That cost the team dearly, especially playmaker Dzsenifer Marozsan, who broke a toe vs. China and continued to play that way for most of the match. I do not at all want to glorify that behavior, but it is important to point out that no men’s player would have played that long with a broken toe.
Germany had to go without Marozsan’s services against Spain and will do so again vs. South Africa. But they hope to have her ready for the Round of 16 match somehow.
The Germans also had clear issues with the Spanish technical style in the second match.
In both encounters, the winning goal was a combination of individual skill and luck from Giulia Gwinn and Sara Däbritz respectively.
If the team coached by Martina Voss-Tecklenburg is to have a successful tournament, they must improve for the games to come.