Quite a lot of people waved their red flags with yellow stars on Saturday on the sun-drenched back straight of the traditional venue on Bieberer Berg. The fact that their national team was auditioning in Offenbach caused a lot of compatriots from Vietnam to get excited. At the upcoming World Cup in Australia and New Zealand (July 20th to August 20th) Vietnam is a newcomer, for the soccer players from Southeast Asia it is about a respectable performance there. In contrast, the German players actually intended to win the third star – the next title after 2003 and 2007.
But the DFB selection could not even begin to live up to this claim in the first World Cup preparation game. The bottom line was a tedious 2-1 work victory that was not suitable for creating a spirit of optimism – even if many regulars were missing in the line-up. The specially invited world champions from 2003 with the then national coach Tina Theune, her former assistant coach Silvia Neid and Nia Künzer, who then headed the golden goal in the final, should have expected more.
Among the 13,652 spectators, only the Asian delegation celebrated frantically at the end. Because of Thanh Nha Nguyen’s late goal in injury time (90+2), there was even a lap of honor – and plenty of souvenir photos. Meanwhile, national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg almost apologized to the German fans. “That’s not the idea of how we want to play football. There’s still a lot to work on in all areas and a lot to do. We’re at 40 percent,” said the 55-year-old on ZDF.
Nevertheless, she would have wished her ensemble not to exhaust the “fault tolerance” she has given her. In the athletic field, progress will be made in the near future, “we’re pushing fitness up, but I don’t know if every player has understood our positioning principles”. In addition, the national coach has “a different claim” on her players for some basic virtues.
Most of the players from Wolfsburg and Munich were missing
A fine back-heel hit by Paulina Krumbiegel on submission by Nicole Anyomi (3rd) aroused early expectations that were not fulfilled for a long time. After all, substitute Janina Minge managed to score a second goal (80th). Lena Lattwein found clear words for the incoherent performance: “It was a motley team, but we played that wildly. We have to improve in many areas. We didn’t have a goal offensively and we were poorly positioned defensively.”
After the preparations that only started last Tuesday with only three training sessions, the explanation for this mixed performance is that most of the players from VfL Wolfsburg and FC Bayern were still missing. With their belated dismissal of five players, the Munich team was of course partly to blame for the poor performance because no one from the quintet played.
The game largely passes Laura Freigang
It looked disturbing that the rest of the squad did not play clear physical advantages against this opponent, who was half a head smaller on average. Good from a German point of view that goalkeeper Merle Frohms, who was challenged in the Champions League final three weeks ago, was not rested by the VfL Wolfsburg players, who not only made a splendid save from a long-range shot by Thin Van Duong (42nd). When Sophia Kleinherne played a bad pass, captain Hai Yen Pham only shot the side netting (77′), much to the dismay of her supporters.
Even in forward gear, the Germans didn’t really do much. For example, the game passed Laura Freigang, who was pushing for more time. As important as the leading player from Eintracht Frankfurt is for harmony, she continues to look for her role on the pitch in DFB dress. According to Voss-Tecklenburg, the “players in the selection process” should show themselves.
Open detailed view
The start was elegant: Paulina Krumbiegel scored with a heel to make it 1-0.
(Photo: Mirko Kappes/foto2press/Imago)
But there is not infinite time to fine-tune the vote before departure on July 11 for Sydney. The first training camp ends on Tuesday, and a second one will then take place from July 2nd to 8th, with the integrated World Cup dress rehearsal against Zambia in Fürth (July 7th/8:30 p.m./ARD) an “emotional push” (Voss-Tecklenburg ) should give.
But it also needs a footballing boost when this team should face a round of 16 hurdle like Brazil or France after the preliminary round against Morocco (July 24th), Colombia (July 30th) and South Korea (August 3rd), which is at least theoretically feasible. Otherwise the World Cup campaign launched in major German cities to acquire the third star could quickly come to nothing.