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Nations League: “The summer is saved”: German women book the Olympics

Nations League “The summer is saved”: German women book the Olympics

The German women are taking part in the Olympics after their win against the Netherlands. photo

© Federico Gambarini/dpa

In a long, hard-fought game, the DFB team won 2-0 in Heerenveen and thus fulfilled their Olympic dream. Horst Hrubesch will remain with the team as national coach for the time being.

Thanks to Klara Bühl and Lea Schüller, the German footballers and interim national coach Horst Hrubesch have made their Olympic dream come true.

The DFB women are allowed to go to Paris in the summer after the hard-fought 2-0 (0-0) against the Netherlands. In the game for third place in the Nations League in Heerenveen, Munich’s Bühl (66th minute) scored the goals for the European vice-champions thanks to work from the outstanding Lena Oberdorf and Schüller (78th). In front of over 20,000 spectators in the Abe Lenstra Stadium, captain Alexandra Popp and Co. cheered exuberantly after the final whistle.

“It feels incredibly good to have won here. I hope that we can just carry on this momentum. We are extremely happy. The summer is saved,” said Bühl beaming with joy on ZDF. “We are incredibly happy that we brought this power, this force, this energy performance onto the pitch for over 90 minutes today.”

Popp: “I am very, very proud of my team”

Captain Alexandra Popp summed up: “I’m incredibly happy and very relieved that we decided the game in our favor.” The victory was “highly deserved”: “I am very, very proud of my team.” And Schüller commented: “I think we have to realize that now.”

The Hrubesch team showed great improvement five days after the 1-2 defeat in France, the first missed Olympic opportunity, but had to tremble for a long time. Six months after the World Cup debacle in Australia, the DFB women ultimately prevented the next bitter setback. “We had enough chances in the first half,” complained Hrubesch, who was overall satisfied with his team’s performance. His players “went beyond the limits”.

The German selection missed out on taking part in Tokyo in 2021. Now the players can hope for their second German Olympic gold after Rio de Janeiro 2016. World champions Spain, France, the USA, Canada, Brazil and Colombia will be taking part in the summer games. The group draw is on March 20th.

Thanks to the success against the Oranje team of coach Andries Jonker, the DFB has gained time in the search for a successor to Hrubesch: The HSV idol will look after the footballers at the summer games – then at the age of 73 – as planned and will not be in his second term in office end early. From April onwards he has to get Popp and Co. through the European Championship qualification for Switzerland in 2025. The German U21 men, silver medalists eight years ago under head coach Hrubesch, did not make it to the games in Paris.

Schüller scores after being substituted on

Hrubesch had drawn the conclusions from Lyon’s weak first half and forewent a Popp/Schüller dual leadership. Her Munich club colleague Sydney Lohmann played for Schüller as a playmaker. This time, the DFB players approached the game with a lot of power and strength in duels and initially hardly gave the Dutch women any breathing space.

Sjoeke Nüsken hit the left post after 25 minutes after energetically winning the ball. On the other hand, former Munich striker Lineth Beerensteyn was whirling in her 100th international match, but rarely managed to finish. After the break, Hrubesch brought Schüller on, but things remained difficult going forward.

Oberdorf then initiated the decisive attack and provided Bühl with an energetic header. The Munich woman shot in from six meters. Schüller missed twice in the final phase before she managed to make it 2-0, and the fans who had traveled with her sang: “Paris, Paris, we’re going to Paris.”

dpa

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