Germany women’s national team missed the chance to reach the World Cup semi final in France. Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side were beaten 2-1 by Sweden in Rennes and therefore will miss out on qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Lina Magull (16’) gave Germany the lead before Sofia Jakobsson’s goal cancelled it out just minutes later (22’). Shortly after the beginning of the second half, Stina Blackstenius put Sweden ahead (48’).
In Roazhon Park it was clear that either side had respect for the other in the 35 degree heat. A header from captain Alexandra Popp (3’) and a free-kick from Lina Magull (6’) were the first main chances. After that, the German side gained more control of the game with passing play, whilst Sweden were happy to play on the break. Their first chance of the game came exactly this way, but Almuth Schult denied Jakobsson with her feet (13’).
The opening goal of the game was a well-crafted one as Sara Däbritz split the defence with a slipped ball through, which Magull latched onto and finished with a scissor kick. Germany contined to attack and nearly doubled the lead, but Lea Schüller’s header was too strong after Svenja Huth’s cross (19’). Sweden then countered with a long ball to Jakobsson, who gave Schult no chance as she finished from 13 metres, and inflicted the first German concession of the tournament.
Germany continued to control the game, but lacked precision when it came to the final ball. Sweden made use of the space with vertical passes. In the 37th minute Schult denied Blackstenius who had broken clear and ensured Germany didn’t go into the break a goal down. With the Scandinavians having the upper hand, Germany saw their chances limited. In the 43rd minute, Voss-Tecklenburg was forced into a change and replaced Carolin Simon with Leonie Maier.
The second half began with the return of Dzsenifer Marozsán, who replaced Linda Dallmann to return from the toe injury suffered against China. But on the pitch, it was the Swedish side who made the talking point. After Fridolina Rolfö’s header was well saved bu Schult, Blackstenius finished the rebound to put her side ahead. As Germany tried to fight back from being behind, Sweden’s defense showed no signs of weakness and both teams cancelled each other out in midfield.
Voss-Tecklenburg reacted by introducing Lena Oberdorf into the game in place of Schüller (69’). Shortly after, Martina Hegering and Schult were forced into good work to deny Blackstenius on the counter to keep the scores level (71’). Seven minutes later, Schult was on hand again as she denied Jakobsson in the 78th minute. Despite Germany’s best efforts, Sweden succeeded in keeping the play a long way from their own goal.
In the 88th minute, the game was almost level once again, as Oberdorf’s header agonisingly missed the target by centimeters. At the other end of the field, Blackstenius fired slightly over the bar from long range. Däbritz tested Sweden’s goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl in added time (90+1’), before Hegering’s header went over the bar two minutes later, and Germany’s world cup dream was over.###more###