Germany against Austria: Happy win for DFB women

The German footballers started qualifying for the 2025 European Championship with a long weak performance and a happy victory over Austria. Interim national coach Horst Hrubesch’s national team was only able to convince at times after the break in the 3-2 win in Linz on Friday evening. “We have to play better, that wasn’t clarified,” said the 72-year-old on ARD after the final whistle.

Eileen Campbell from SC Freiburg gave the hosts a 2-0 lead with her two goals (9th and 16th minute). Munich’s Klara Bühl also scored twice (39th/49th) for the DFB team before captain Giulia Gwinn converted a controversial penalty to make it 3-2 (63rd). The relief after the final whistle was “extreme,” said Bühl. “We really made things difficult for ourselves today. The first 30 minutes were really nothing.”

Austria more determined

For the first time, Giulia Gwinn from FC Bayern led the national team onto the pitch as Alexandra Popp’s representative. In addition to the regular captain, defense chief Marina Hegering (both VfL Wolfsburg) was also missing due to injuries. Munich’s Lea Schüller replaced Popp as a striker, while Frankfurt’s Sara Doorsoun defended for Hegering in the back four.

In coach Irene Fuhrmann’s Austria team, who had to do without Sarah Zadrazil and Katharina Naschenweng from FC Bayern, all players in the starting eleven had already played in the German Bundesliga or are currently playing there. At the home premiere against their neighbors, the 17th in the FIFA world rankings started with determination and took advantage of the first chance: Campbell beat Doorsoun and Kathrin Hendrich and gave goalkeeper Merle Frohms no chance. After a free kick from Frankfurt’s Barbara Dunst, Campbell even headed in to make it 2-0.

The DFB women ran a lot behind against strong Austrians. No trace of self-confidence. Sydney Lohmann and the recently highly praised Sjoeke Nüsken from Chelsea FC hardly managed to build up the game. After a bad pass from Hendrich in his own penalty area, Campbell had the empty goal in front of him but slipped.

With anger in his stomach and after an energetic conquest of the ball, Bühl scored the next goal with a precise shot. After the break, Hrubesch brought in offensive player Laura Freigang – and Bibiane Schulze Solano from Athletic Bilbao.

The 25-year-old with dual citizenship was even nominated for the selection of the eventual world champions from Spain at the beginning of 2023, but was not used. With her debut, the defensive specialist has now established herself for Germany.

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Again Bühl met a pass from Nüsken to quickly equalize after the restart. Frankfurt’s Freigang then took a penalty against goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger, which Gwinn, who recently spoke about the art of the perfect penalty in the FAZ interview, converted into the lead with her usual confidence. A video referee was not used in the game and the penalty decision was controversial. Shortly afterwards, the right-back almost scored an own goal. Freigang then missed the 4:2.

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