Football Nations League
Hrubesch remains national coach, DFB women have a chance at the Olympics
Status: 06.12.2023 | Reading time: 3 minutes
Off to Paris: Coach Horst Hrubesch and Alexandra Popp are fighting for Olympic qualification with the national team
Quelle: Getty Images/Michael Steele
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The German soccer players can still hope for the Olympic Games in Paris. However, Horst Hrubesch’s team has to tremble for a long time against Wales. Now the DFB women are hoping for a very specific draw. The national coach continues his work.
After a tough game and thanks to the help from Iceland, the German footballers and interim national coach Horst Hrubesch have just kept their Olympic chances for Paris 2024. A disappointing 0-0 draw against Wales on Tuesday evening in Swansea was enough for the DFB women to win the group in the Nations League, as rivals Denmark surprisingly lost 1-0 to the Icelandic women. At the final tournament from February 21st to 28th, the team led by captain Alexandra Popp, which was weak this time, is now fighting for the two remaining European Olympic tickets. Possible opponents are then world champions Spain and France.
The nervous vice-European champions were unable to build on last Friday’s strong 3-0 win against Denmark against the bottom of the table. In the fourth game under Hrubesch, the 72-year-old missed a win for the first time. However, Hrubesch announced after the game that he would remain national coach. The ex-striker will also look after the DFB selection at the final tournament of the Nations League in February for the Olympic qualification for Paris 2024. “So the plan is for me to still be there,” said Hrubesch.
In Wales, the HSV idol already underlined with the starting eleven that he was further igniting the competition: Leverkusen’s Elisa Senß, who made her DFB debut in Rostock, played from the start, as did Hoffenheim’s Paulina Krumbiegel for the otherwise seeded Giulia Gwinn as well as Jule Brand, who has recently received little attention. Sara Doorsoun replaced the suspended Marina Hegering in central defense.
Lena Petermann and the DFB women had to settle for a 0-0 draw in Wales
What: Action Images via Reuters
Although the German women easily won the first leg 5-1, they started very erratically in the Liberty Stadium with many ball losses. Goalkeeper Merle Frohms was lucky after a quarter of an hour when Rachel Rowe’s ball hit the post and then hit her back without landing in the net. The very weak first half was sometimes reminiscent of the performances at the botched World Cup in Australia in the summer. Sarai Linder missed with a shot just over the crossbar (41′) – there wasn’t much more in the offensive around Popp.
DFB women hope for France
After the break, Hrubesch brought in two new players, Gwinn and Linda Dallmann from Munich. The DFB women increased the pressure a little, but continued to have enormous difficulties. However, Senß almost made it 1-0 in the 55th minute when goalkeeper Olivia Clark directed her deflected chip around the post.
Dangerous body cult
Popp as a striker was hardly staged. The Wolfsburg player also received a blow to the head from Sophie Ingle and went into the final phase a little injured. With a win, regardless of the amount, the German selection would have secured victory in the group even without outside help.
Hrubesch and his footballers are now hoping for France for the semi-finals, which will be drawn by UEFA on Monday. This constellation would give the DFB women a second chance in the event of a defeat: the French are set for Paris as Olympic hosts. If they reach the final of the final tournament, the third place would also be at the Summer Games. Apart from France, only two other European teams receive an Olympic ticket. The German women missed the games in Tokyo, but won gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.