The German U20 women’s team qualified comfortably for the quarter finals of the World Cup in France with three wins out of three. Talking to DFB.de, captain Jana Feldkamp assesses the group stage and speaks about the best game so far, as well as life away from home.
DFB.de: Jana Feldkamp, your team dominated the group, finishing undefeated with 9 points, scoring 6 goals and only conceding twice. How would you sum up the group stage?
Jana Feldkamp: I’m very pleased with our first three games. It’s encouraging that we scored six goals of course. Ultimately, we could have certainly scored even more. Going forward we didn’t always play the final ball quite like we would have wanted to. In the opening two games we didn’t give our opponents any chance of scoring and we didn’t concede at all. We also intended to keep a clean sheet against Haiti, so it’s frustrating that we let in two goals, which came from a set-piece and losing possession. We want to avoid conceding like this against Japan.
DFB.de: Which game has been the best so far in your eyes?
Feldkamp: Our best performances so far came against Nigeria and in the first half against Haiti in my opinion. We held the Nigerians off with a very good physical performance. In the first half of the match against Haiti we played the ball quickly up the pitch and created a lot of goal-scoring opportunities.
DFB.de: Has the team made any progress in the course of the last three games?
Feldkamp: Yes, definitely. In the last three games, our offensive play has steadily improved. We also know that we still haven’t hit top gear just yet. Against Japan we must step up again though to reach the semi-finals.
DFB.de: What have you still got to do as a team then to be at your best?
Feldkamp: We’ve got to work on our movement and look at being more clinical with our final pass. We can definitely also work on switching up our play when we’re on the pitch.
DFB.de: Are you happy with the team’s defensive play?
Feldkamp: Absolutely. Throughout the three matches we worked very well at the back, and quickly adapted. We often outnumbered our opponents, so we stopped any chances the opposition had of scoring before they even presented themselves.
DFB.de: What are you expecting in the quarter final against Japan?
Feldkamp: We know that the Japanese play very quickly and let the ball do the work, and that they have a lot of agile players in their squad. When we play them, it’s crucial that we stay compact and put up a fight from the very beginning. We’ll try to attack more efficiently and get our shots away earlier. If we do that, we’ll score goals against Japan.
DFB.de: Is anything changing in the quarter final for you as a captain?
Feldkamp: It’s clear that the six more-experienced players, who played against France in the quarter finals in Papua New Guinea in 2016, now have to lead the way and let the younger players profit from their experience.
DFB.de: Are your family coming to the quarter final to support you?
Feldkamp: Yes they are, and I’m very happy about it. My parents already watched our first two games in Brittany, but they then had to go home again, as my cousin got married. My parents, grandma, aunt, uncle, and my newlywed cousin and his wife are all coming to watch the quarter final.