The Germany national team secured their second victory of the tournament after a hard-fought win in France. The two-time World champions beat Spain 1-0 in the second group B game of the tournament and now sit on six points and are on course for the quarter-finals. In the final game of the group stages, Germany will take on South Africa on Monday (18:00 CEST).
Head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg made three changes compared to the team that beat China 1-0. 17-year-old Lena Oberdorf came in for her first start at the tournament. Lena Goeßling and Verena Schweers were the other two to come into the team.
The heavy rain at the beginning of the game was a hindrance as both sides struggled to assert their dominance on the game. Within the first ten minutes, both teams had chances to take the lead, but neither team was able to find the back of the net. Around the 15 minute mark, Spain were through on goal but Silvia Meseguer was unable to find the net with her effort going past the post. The Germans reacted with Giulia Gwinn, the match winner against China, running through the Spain defence before seeing her strong effort saved by the goalkeeper.
As the half-an-hour mark went by, the sun finally came out and the Spaniards seemed to be energized. The Germans were forced to defend a series of Spanish corners. Gwinn and Huth threatened down the right-hand side and finally in the 42nd minute, Germany took the lead. A Huth cross found the head of Popp, whose effort was saved by Panos, but the Spanish goalkeeper was unable to hang on to the ball and Däbritz came sliding in to push the ball over the line.
The 18-year-old Klara Bühl made her third ever international appearance and was a threat instantly with her direct running. With Bühl on the pitch, Germany were more of a threat going forward and Popp had a chance to head home but once again, Panos denied her.
Bühl had a chance to double the German’s lead but her effort was parried away by the goalkeeper after Huth had released her on the counter. In the 64th minute, Lina Magull replaced Oberdorf and later on, Melanie Leopolz came on for Lena Goeßling. The final minutes of the game were full of strong tackles and stout defending by the German team as they held out for a 1-0 victory.