Seven games, seven wins! Coach Horst Hrubesch and his Women’s national team continued their successful run with a 5-2 win against Italy on Saturday afternoon. They have now equalled their record from 2016, when Silvia Neid’s side went on a seven-game winning run from their second group game at the Olympics on 12th August through to a 4-2 win over the Netherlands on 25th October.
Lina Magull and Sara Däbritz scored for Germany before half time in front of a crowd of 6,000 fans at Bremer Brücke in Osnabrück, but Barbara Bonansea and Daniela Sabatino replied for the Italians to level up the game at the break. Soon after the restart, however, Giulia Gwinn scored her first international goal to restore the lead. Petermann and Leonie Maier followed up to give Germany their seventh consecutive victory.
Hrubesch could well retire with a new record, with the chance to make it eight straight wins coming on Tuesday (16:00 CET) against Spain. Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, who is currently involved with the Switzerland national team in the World Cup play-offs, will succeed the 67-year old in the new year.
The coach remained true to his word and trusted young Hoffenheim players Lena Lattwein and Maximiliane Rall to play in the starting XI. Rall began on the right of a back-four, with Sara Doorsoun and Johanna Elsig partnering in the centre, with Felicitas Rauch on the left, just like in the game against Austria. Merle Frohms stood between the sticks for her second international cap. Magull and Däbritz played as a double pivot, making way for three attacking midfielders in the form of Gwinn, Lattwein and Svenja Huth, with a single striker in the form of Alexandra Popp as a goal threat.
The plan from the coach was evident from the start. The players ran after the Italians right from the off and gave them little space. The guests therefore had no chance to build an attack. Germany let the ball run fluidly between their ranks. After some great play, captain Popp ran into the Italian half and put the ball on a plate for Magull. The Bayern player fooled two defenders and scored to take an early lead.
The home side were definitely running the show and every player pressed the opposition well. It was no wonder, considering Hrubesch had recently said that all those in the squad are fighting for their place at World Cup next year in France (7th June – 7 July). The 1-0 scoreline was well-earned by Germany, if slightly slender. Däbritz then shot from 18 yards, but a deflection off Popp made it impossible for Italian goalkeeper Laura Giuliani to save, giving the hosts a two-goal lead.
The Italians then replied and got back into the game as Barbara Bonansea was able to convert a half chance for the away side. With only their second opportunity, the guests managed to draw level through Dniela Sabatino, meaning the teams were even at the break. Shortly after half time, Germany were able to recapture the lead through Giulia Gwinn after some impressive football from the SC Freiburg player.
In the 60th minute, Petermann replaced Huth and added the fourth goal to make it 4-2 to the hosts. Ten minutes later, a third player was able to make her international debut - 18-year-old Sydney Lohmann from Bayern München, who came on for Magull, while Gwinn was replaced by Leonie Maier.
In the last 15 minutes, Germany lowered the tempo, with the outcome seemingly a foregone conclusion. They rest of the team were able to sit back while Petermann provided an almost endless amount of pressure up front. In the 86th minute, Giuliani made a mistake under pressure and Petermann was able to set up Maier for the fifth and final goal of the game.###more###