There are several positives that Germany’s women’s national team can take away from their 2-2 draw against Japan. With just two months to go before the team’s opening match in the World Cup against China on 8 June, captain Alexandra Popp spoke with DFB.de editor Sabrina Dirks about the recent games against Japan and Sweden, as well as her role with the team.
... THE WIN AGAINST SWEDEN: You could see that we’ve grown as a team. Against Sweden we tried out a new formation in order to find out if it works. We were able to execute our game plan well and came home with a well-deserved win.
... THE TIE AGAINST JAPAN: We didn’t have a great start against Japan, but we managed to get back into it as the game progressed. It was good for us to have to catch up for once in order to see how it would impact our mental strength. We kept up our morale and managed to draw level twice. The one thing we were missing is the ability to capitalize on our chances.
... HER NEW ROLE AS CAPTAIN: It hasn’t changed anything on the pitch for me. Off the pitch I’ve taken on the one or the other new responsibility, but it’s something I’m happy to do.
... HER OWN PERFORMANCE: I struggled to find my way into the game during the first 45 minutes against Japan, which was frustrating. Luckily, I was able to better lead my team during the second half. Overall, I’m happy with my performance.
... HER IMPRESSION OF THE TEAM: The most important thing is that we have a positive atmosphere within the team. That’s something that everyone—both inside and outside the team—picks up on. Ahead of the World Cup, our plan is to keep improving the mood within the team and to target our problem areas in order to fix them. We’re on the right path and we’re looking forward to the World Cup.