Germany has won the third and final of their group matches at the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Monday evening. This time it was a 4-0 result against tournament debutants South Africa, which ensured that the team coached by Martina Voss- Tecklenburg finished on top of its section, with a maximum nine points from three matches.
It was not only the four goals (scored by Melanie Leupolz, Sara Däbritz, Alexandra Popp and Lina Magull respectively) that impressed, showing the team’s offensive and technical abilities that had been somewhat lacking in the two previous encounters.
It was especially the dominance with which they took apart their opponents for two thirds of the match that was impressive. Neither of their other Group B opponents, Spain and China had shown anywhere near that kind of dominance, when they had played against the otherwise difficult to beat South Africans.
Although they finished bottom of the group, the Women’s World Cup novices exit the tournament in France with pride after having been unlucky to lose to both Spain and China, before insisting on being competitive against Germany rather than parking the bus, which gave the eight-time European champions a few scares.
Despite all the positives also from a German viewpoint, there still remain a number of worrying aspects to their game that they must put an end to, if they are to advance further in the tournament.
The biggest among them paradoxically is the back four. They have yet concede their first goal in this competition , but they have made so many mistakes that better teams in the knockout stages will surely punish.
Another problem is their failure to score from many top chances. Despite their four goals vs. South Africa, they have missed major scoring opportunities in that match as well. Stronger opposition will punish that too.
Germany will play their Round of 16 game on Saturday against either Nigeria, or the yet to be determined third placed finishers from groups C or D. In any case a difficult opponent.