On Saturday afternoon (15:00 CEST kick-off), the Germany women’s national team start their World Cup campaign against China. This will be the 31st meeting between the two countries in women’s football, but only one of the previous 30 have been at World Cup finals. DFB.de have been swotting up on the numbers ahead of the ladies’ opener.
HISTORICALLY FAMILIAR OPPONENTS: Germany have faced China a total of 31 times in women’s football and have only faced Norway (40) and the USA (35) more often. They have also only lost to Norway (14) and the USA (24) more often than they have to China (8). However, of the last 13 games against the ladies from the Middle Kingdom, Germany have only lost one – winning ten and drawing two.
CONTINUE THE RUN? The DFB Frauen have in fact won their last six encounters with their Chinese counterparts, without conceding a single goal: five Algarve Cup games and one at the 2016 Olympics. The last time China scored against Germany was on the 25th February 2009 in a 1-1 draw in Bielefeld. This was also the only instance in the last 15 meetings that China managed to put one past Germany in the first half, while Germany have scored 13 first-half goals in that timeframe. The Germany women’s team has only ever enjoyed two longer winning runs without conceding: Ten games against Iceland and nine against Switzerland.
LAST ECOUNTER: The most recent game between Germany and China was at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The DFB team won 1-0 courtesy of a goal from Melanie Behringer (76’). Germany went on to beat Canada 2-0 in the semi-finals, before securing Olympic Gold with a 2-1 win over Sweden in the final.
LAST WORLD CUP CLASH: 1995 saw Germany take on China in the sides’ first and to date only World Cup encounter. The match was played in the Swedish town of Helsingborg with Germany running out 1-0 winners. Bettina Wiegmann scored the late winner to send Germany on their way to the runners up medal.
GOOD OMEN: The DFB Ladies have never lost their opening game of a World Cup tournament. Of the seven previous occasions, Germany have won six, only failing to win in 1999 against Italy (1-1).
STILL UNBEATEN: Martina Voss-Tecklenburg has been in charge of the DFB Frauen for four games, winning three and drawing one. The current record of longest unbeaten run at the start of a coaching tenure with the DFB Frauen is held by Tina Theune-Meyer, who won five and drew four of her first nine games.
STRONG RECORD: Germany have lost just one of a total 21 World Cup group stage games (16 wins, four draws): a 3-2 defeat against Sweden in 1995, meaning the Germany women’s team currently boast a 16 game unbeaten streak in World Cup group stages. Germany have scored in every single one of their group games for a total group stage haul of 76 goals: an average of 3.6 goals per game. However, Germany have failed to score in their previous two World Cup games: The semi-final against USA (2-0 loss) and the subsequent third-place play-off against England (1-0 loss), both in 2015. This is an unwelcome first for the DFB Frauen’s history books.
CHINESE RESILIENCE IN OPENER: China have lost only one of their six World Cup openers, winning four and drawing one. Their only opening defeat in a Women’s World Cup came at the most recent one, when hosts Canada beat them 1-0 in the tournament’s inaugural fixture.###more###