On Saturday (kickoff 17:30 CEST), the Germany Women’s team meet the Nigeria in the last 16 of the World Cup. In Grenoble, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side will want to build on a convincing display in the group stages and progress to the quarter finals. DFB.de has the stats and facts ahead of the eighth-ever clash between the two sides.
Head to head: Germany and Nigeria will meet for the eighth time in women’s competition. The German team have the perfect record, winning on seven previous occasions – against no opponent have the DFB-Frauen won so often and remained unbeaten. Moreover, Germany have never conceded against Nigeria. The two sides have met twice in the World Cup before, with Germany running out as 4-0 and 1-0 winners in 1991 and 2011 respectively.
Knockout phase: Germany have never failed to qualify out the group in a World Cup, finishing first in their group on seven occasions and second in 1999. Germany won their only previous round of 16 match since the expansion of the tournament to 24 teams 4-1 against Sweden in 2015.
Long wait: Nigeria qualified for the round of 16 as the fourth-best team that placed third in their group. Despite losing 1-0 and 3-0 to France and Norway respectively in their group, Nigeria managed to win 2-0 against South Korea and thus progress due to a stronger goal difference than rivals Chile (-2 vs. -3). This means that Nigeria are the weakest-ever team to finish third in their group yet still advance since the competition was expanded in 2015.
Attacking power vs. disarray in front of goal: Only the USA had more shots on goal (33) and created more chances (16) than Germany (23 shots, 14 chances) in the group stages. Nigeria, on the other hand, had the joint-fewest shots of the teams to progress (22, joint with Norway and China), and had the joint-lowest average possession (36%, along with Cameroon).
The opponents: Nigeria currently occupy 38th place in the FIFA world rankings. With eleven titles to their name, they are the record-champions of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations. The ‘Super Falcons’ have also participated in the Olympic Games three times. In the 2004 Olympics, Nigeria progressed out of the group for the first time ever, reaching the quarter finals. Nigeria’s record appearance maker is Maureen Mmadu, capped 101 times, and their record goalscorer is Perpetua Nkwocha, scorer of 80 goals.
Weak World Cup record: This is the Nigerian team’s eighth appearance at a World Cup. In total, seven teams have taken part in every World Cup, with Nigeria being one of them (as well as Germany, the USA, Norway, Japan, Sweden and Brazil). The “Super Falcons” have only made it past the group stages twice. They have recorded just four wins at the World Cup, compared to 18 losses (and three draws). Their biggest defeat came in the 1995 World Cup, when they lost a group stage game 8-0 against Norway. The 2-0 win against South Korea was their biggest World Cup victory, joint with their 2-0 over Denmark at the 1999 World Cup.
The coach: The Nigeria coach is Thomas Dennerby. The Swede took over as trainer in February 2018 and won the African Cup of Nations in his first year in charge. Before his time with Nigeria, Dennerby coached the Swedish women’s team from 2005 to 2012, overseeing their third place finish at the 2011 World Cup in Germany.
Venue: The Stade des Alpes in Grenoble can hold 20,000 fans and, from certain parts, offers views of the mountains in the distance. The stadium’s capacity means it registers as the smallest arena of the nine stadiums being used in this year’s World Cup. The completely seated stadium was opened in February 2008.
Strong run: Germany are unbeaten since 7th May 2018 (when they suffered a 3-0 loss to France), meaning they have played 15 games undefeated (13 wins, two draws). An even longer run was recorded between July 2013 and September 2014, when the DFB-Frauen went 18 games unbeaten.
Defensive work: The DFB team have now racked up eight games in a row without conceding a goal, a record last achieved in 2013. Should Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s team keep a clean sheet against Nigeria, they will record nine successive clean sheets for the first time in their history.
Cause for celebration: Alexandra Popp is set to make her 100th international appearance, which would make her the 26th woman to reach this landmark. Furthermore, with 47 international goals, she sits in eighth place for most goals in DFB history. Her former coach, Silvia Neid, sits in seventh with just one more goal.