The DFB-Frauen have stayed unbeaten under head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg. Two months before their opening World Cup game against China on 8th June (15:00 CEST), the team drew 2-2 (0-1) with Japan.
Yui Hasegawa put the guests ahead in the 35th minute, but Germany captain Alexandra Popp got a deserved equaliser in the 53rd minute. Kumi Yokoyama then put Japan back in front (69’) before Svenja Huth got Germany back on terms again just three minutes later (72’). Huth said that it was “important that we came back from behind twice.”
Voss-Tecklenburg had two victories to celebrate in her previous two games. Germany Women beat France 1-0 away at the end of February and won 2-1 in Sweden last Saturday. The draw against Japan was the 11th game without defeat for the side, winning nine and draw two of those games. The last defeat was a 3-0 loss to France in the SheBelievesCup on 7th March 2018.
Like in the Sweden game, Germany Women lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Popp up front. Svenja Huth was fit to play again after suffering from flu and started on the wing. 4,804 fans watched the game in Paderborn including Silvia Neid, Horst Hrubesch and Oliver Bierhoff, director of the Germany national side and academy. Freiburg’s Lina Magull on the left wing put Japan under pressure and had Germany’s first two opportunities in the game.
However, Japan started to have more and more of the game as time went on and started to build their own attacks. Germany remained strong and didn’t allow their opponents to come too close to their box. This changed on 35 minutes when Almuth Schult made a mistake and Hasegawa pounced to put the World Cup runners-up in front.
Germany started to attack more and more after going behind. Verena Schweers and Alexandra Popp both had chances leading up to half time, but they came to nothing.
Voss-Tecklenburg changed things at half time, bringing on Lena Goeßling, Sara Doorsoun and Turid Knaak – and things changed almost straightaway. Dzsenifer Marozsan had two good chances to equalise in the 47th minute before Popp scored a header just afterwards to level things up.
Germany now had Japan pinned in their own half and were dominating the ball. They were also having chances, the best ones falling to Magull and Knaak. However, a misplaced pass from Schult led to Japan going 2-1 up through Yokoyama in the 69th minute.
Voss-Tecklenburg’s team hit back almost immediately, scoring the equaliser through Huth in the 72nd minute. Germany also continued to look the most dangerous team in the closing stages but couldn’t find the winning goal. Japan almost stole the game in the 90th minute but Pauline Bremer was there on the line to clear the danger.
Germany Women face Chile in Regensburg on 30th May in a dress rehearsal for the World Cup. Voss-Tecklenburg will announce her squad for the tournament on 14th May. On 3rd June, the side fly to Rennes, where their first game of the World Cup against China takes place five days later. Germany Women’s following games in Group B are against joint-favourites Spain (12th June, 18:00 CEST) and World Cup debutants South Africa (17 June, 18:00 CEST).###more###