Germany Women narrowly lost 1-0 in the 20th edition of the ‘Klassiker’ on Thursday evening. Kenza Dali scored the decisive goal in the 30th minute at the Stade de la Meinau in Strasbourg, ensuring a fifth victory for France Women over Germany.
National team head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg made eight changes to her line-up for the match compared to the side that started against Norway last time. Only Jana Feldkamp, Leonie Maier and Linda Dallmann were kept in the side that won 3-1 in April. Merle Frohms started in net, with Lena Oberdorf playing alongside Feldkamp in central defence, while Maier and Felicitas Rauch were played on the wing. In midfield, Sydney Lohmann and Sjoeke Nüsken were in the middle, while Dallmann, Lea Schüller, captain Svenja Huth, and Klara Bühl provided the attacking threat.
High tempo football from both sides
Both teams started the match aggressively. Lohmann just missed a dangerous cross from Schüller, before Maier took aim from distance but fired just over, all within the first five minutes. The hosts were also on the offensive, however, and a good block was required to deny Amel Majri in the 10th minute.
Germany continued to push forward in the early stages and attempted to disrupt the French build-up play. The 19th minute saw Nüsken play Huth through, but she hesitated a fraction too long and the chance was wasted. Huth also had the next opportunity from a direct free kick but fired over (28’).
Dali nets a stunner for the hosts
France then took control of the game and made it count as Dali opened the scoring with half an hour played. Meanwhile Germany lacked the final precise pass to put teammates in dangerous positions. The hosts almost doubled their advantage shortly afterwards as Germany lost possession cheaply, but Frohms prevented this with a great one-on-one stop against Grace Geyoro (37’).
As the game approached half time, the French kept up the pressure on Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side and limited almost all chances for Germany. It wasn’t until the 44th minute that goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin was called into action again to stop another Huth effort on goal.
Dallmann misses chance to level the scores
The second half began with a promising German attack but once again, Dallmann’s cross from wide lacked the precision to cause the defence any real problems (46’). France also remained dangerous, with Majri firing just off target from 15 metres out (49’). ‘Les Bleues’ again set the tone of the game as the second half developed and prevented any meaningful periods of possession for Germany.
Viviane Asseyi had a shot blocked after a good solo run (53’), before Bühl created a similar chance at the opposite end of the pitch, feeding Dallmann who hesitated a split-second too long and was unable to equalise (54’).
Frohms saves brilliantly
Germany then had a sustained period of attacking pressure as first Nüsken (56’) and then Bühl (57’) tried efforts from distance after winning possession. With an hour on the clock, Voss-Tecklenburg introduced fresh legs in the form of Lena Lattwein and Jule Brand, who replaced Dallmann and Bühl. Brand almost had an instant impact less than a minute after coming on but headed just over.
At the other end of the pitch, Frohms saved brilliantly to deny Sakina Karchaoui (62’), before Tabea Waßmuth came on for Schüller (70’). However, Germany again struggled to disrupt the French build-up play.
The 80th minute saw France ‘keeper Renard saving well to deny the onrushing Huth, but overall the match was characterised by inaccurate passes in the final third. Waßmuth was unlucky when her shot appeared to have been blocked by a defender’s hand, but Croatian referee Ivana Martincic did not blow her whistle. The final chance of the game went to Brand, but she was unable to connect with the ball at close range (90+2’), ensuring a defeat for Germany.