The Germany women's national team are back to their winning ways with a first victory in almost two months since their disappointing exit from the World Cup. With assistant coach Britta Carlson once again deputising for the currently ill Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, the team recorded a convincing 4-0 victory over Iceland in Bochum in their second UEFA Women’s Nations League fixture, as they fight for one of two spots at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Klara Bühl opened the scoring with a stunning goal from distance (19’), followed not long after by Giulia Gwinn, who hit home a penalty after a foul on Lena Lattwein (35’). After the break, substitute Lea Schüller (68’) and Bühl (78’) sealed the 4-0 win for the Germans.
Captain Alexandra Popp told the team in the pre-game huddle that they had to “Give it everything.” However, even though they were able to apply relentless pressure upon their opponents from early on, they struggled to break down a defensive Iceland side. Jule Brand had the first real chance for the Germans with a header over the bar (11’).
Germany had the majority of possession, but lacked the creative spark that they needed, as the team often looked to find Popp with long balls. Gudrun Arnardottir stopped the ball from reaching the German captain and headed it towards her own net, putting her goalkeeper Telma Ivarsdottir in jeopardy and forcing her to make a save (16’). Germany were then able to take the lead after a clinical strike from Bühl from 18 metres out landed just inside the near post (18’).
Even after the opening goal, Germany continued to dominate the game and created several goalscoring opportunities, keeping Iceland in their own half. Bühl then pounced on a chance to break past the opposition’s defence, but saw her effort saved magnificently by the feet of Ivarsdottir (32’).
Germany continued to gain momentum as the minutes ticked on. After Lattwein was pushed to the ground by Berglund Agustsdottir, Romanian referee Alina Pesu awarded the DFB-Frauen a penalty, which Gwinn converted safely into the bottom-left corner (35’). The 15,000 fans in attendance cheered loudly for their team and even started up a Mexican wave shortly before the half-time whistle was blown.
Carlsson made one change at half time, bringing on striker Schüller for Sydney Lohmann. Iceland refused to give up, instead taking a new and more attacking approach to the game. This opened up gaps for the DFB-Frauen to exploit in the final third. Marina Hegering's header off a corner kick forced Glodis Viggosdottir to come to her team’s rescue with a risky header to clear the ball on the line and onto the underside of her own crossbar (53’).
Schüller then took advantage of a lull in the match, catching the Iceland defenders off guard and getting on the end of a precise cross from Bühl to put the DFB-Frauen 3-0 up (68’).
Germany gained real momentum at this point and started to push even harder for another goal. Bühl then added to her tally, smashing in her second and the team’s fourth goal of the night, again from outside the box (78’). The team were able to sign off from the international break with a win, and will be back in Nations League action in late October, as they host Wales (27th October, 17:45 CEST) followed by a trip to Iceland (31st October, 20:00 CET).