Before the final group game, not so much was discussed about the opponent. Instead, the US was the focus. Because a clash with the overpowering acting US-Americans in the round of 16 wanted to avoid the German team as possible. But it had to be group winner and get at least one point against South Africa.
This is what the players of national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg have achieved. And even more: in the 4-0 victory over South Africa, they showed the best performance so far at the World Cup in France. However, the South Africans were in the almost 30 degrees warm Montpellier no opponent at eye level. Even before half-time, Melanie Leupolz, Sara Däbritz and Alexandra Popp ensured a calming lead. Lina Magull increased after the break.
Voss-Tecklenburg had changed its starting line-up as announced in advance. The threatened by a yellow card suspension Lena Oberdorf sat as well as Kathrin Hendrich and Lena Goessling on the bench. For this, Melanie Leupolz, Magull and the 18-year-old Klara Bühl started in the 4-4-2 system. The striker had earned the effort from the start with a strong performance against Spain.
Especially Magull was very well in the game, showed her good technique and could often be stopped by the South African women only with fouls. She was fouled three times in the first twelve minutes. One of the free kicks led to the first German big chance shortly after kick-off, but captain Alexandra Popp did not hit the ball properly. A little later, Leupolz did better. She stood alone after a corner at the six-yard box and headed the ball from the position to the lead into the goal. South African goalkeeper Dlamini Andile did not look very good here.
In South Africa, which participates for the first time in a World Cup, showed only captain Janine van Wyk real resistance. The center-back made strong tackles and often moved out from the center to clear the ball. Forwards their team developed almost no danger – only once showed the German team defensively weaknesses. Marina Hegering had problems with a long ball as in the game against Spain, but Almuth Schult was able to clear.
Däbritz scores her second goal at this World Cup
After that, the game calmed down to a big mistake by goalkeeper Dlamini. After half an hour she had a failed cross from Verena Schweers at the feet of Sara Däbritz abklatschen, which einschob without problems. For Däbritz, who showed a strong game, it was the second goal at the World Cup. The German team then combined to many beautiful opportunities and showed above all on the outside Svenja Huth and Däbritz, what it is playful in the situation. "It was important to us, that it is not as high and wide as in the first games," said Popp the ARD.
Huth and Magull could have scored more goals in front of Dlamini, but only Popp scored the 3-0. After a nice cross from Giulia Gwinn, the captain was, as so often, high in the air and headed the ball hard into the goal. As in the first group games, the German team was dangerous to standards – and that, although the specialist sat in the stands. Dzsenifer Marozsan continues to cure her toe break and is likely to miss out on the knockout stage. Substitute Carolin Simon brought a free-kick on Hegering's head after almost an hour. Although the ball bounced against the post, but Magull dusted off to 4-0.
At the end of the game, Voss-Tecklenburg gave Linda Dallmann and Lea Schüller their first minutes of use at the World Cup. While the German team forward several good chances against goalkeeper Dlamini, which increased significantly, forgiven, it left the South African attackers more and more space. South Africa could not use the negligence of the German defense – also because goalkeeper Schult prevented a clean sheet with a strong one-on-one goal.
Thus, the German players could celebrate a deserved success and, more importantly, the group victory. At the earliest they can meet the US-Americans in the final. (Tsp)