WWC 2015: Best & Worst of Germany v Sweden

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Germany are in the Quarter Finals at Sweden’s expense after four goals and a good performance.

Sweden crashed out of the World Cup against the Germans

What Happened

Germany qualified handily for the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup after a strong victory over Swedish competitors with Lansdowne Stadium playing host to the five goal shoot out.

After a series of worrying misses that had Germany fans checking the time, Anja Mittag finally found the back of the net off an intercepted pass at the back, doubling up with Celia Sasic to beat the Swedish keeper Hedvig Lindahl with a clean cut shot into the side of the goal.

Just as the half time break loomed and it looked like Sweden had held on with only the single goal separating them, Mittag was clawed down in the box with the referee pointing to the spot and Sasic was given a chance to put her name of the score sheet, a chance she took with ease leaving Germany two goals up heading for the break.

A close chance came for Sweden just on half time with a heading chance going wide off Sofia Jakobsson, a goal that could have brought Sweden back into contention.

Germany showed why they are two-time champions with their game-choking possession that left Sweden stuck in their own half in the second period of play. Sasic doubled her own personal tally and shot Germany to three in the 78th minute, heading in a deflection from Simone Laudher’s shot that left the Swedish keeper exposed and shaking her head.

Sweden took a goal back for their side with Therese Sjorgan delivering a free-kick into the box that Linda Sembrant was able to direct into the back of the net and a second chance came soon for Sweden’s striker but Nadine Angerer refused to let in a second, keeping the German’s two goals ahead.

A well-deserved goal came for Dzsenifer Marozsan late in the game after much of her performance had controlled the game, delivering a long ranged shot over the head of Lindahl to smash into the top corner and secure Germany’s qualification for the next round of the competition.

Stand Out Performances

Anja Mittag got off to a rocky start in the game but soon found her feet and the back of the net to set Germany off to a soaring start, and the European champions never stopped after Mittag’s first lethal header. Terrorizing the Swedish backline for the full ninety minutes, Mittag deserved collected the Player of the Match award and went back to the hotel with a smile on her face.

Celia Sasic claimed a brace in the match as well, slotting away a penalty with ease and safely putting the game out of reach later in the game but her combination up top with Mittag meant that the Swedish defence was never safe and there was no chance for a counter with her presence looming.

Although she only appeared for a half in the match, Marozsan once again put her stamp on the game with a goal and a raft of possession stats that showed her strength in locking down the opposing team. Only twenty-three years old as well, Marozsan is the bright future of Germany’s World Cup challenges in the future and she proved it at Lansdowne Stadium when she sunk Sweden’s hopes.

Talking Points

Although they made it as far as the Round of 16, scrapping through in the third-place qualification positions, Sweden are now packing their bags and heading home. Germany continues onwards with ruthless efficiency however, now looking towards their next opponent as they square up for the quarter finals. Does Germany have what it takes to leap the next hurdle and challenge for one of the two spots in the final with a chance to deliver Silvia Neid her third world championship title?

Sweden have made a strong bid as a competitor on the world stage for many years but raised eyebrows with their toothless attack, leaky defence (eight goals in four games) and questionable playing style. Will Pia Sundhage keep her job? Will there be wholesale changes so they can go further in 2019?

What it Means

Germany’s rampage across Swedish lines means that, of course, the Swedish team is going home but Germany’s eyes now turn to their next rival in the standings, with the match being played between France and South Korea in Montreal determining who they come up against in the next round of the competition.

With France standing out as favourites of the clash, Germany now prepare to face their European rivals with both sides looking to continue their march onwards and upwards towards that final game that could deliver them the title of the best nation in the world.

Needs Work

Nothing changes for Germany with Mittag’s early misses highlighting their mistakes in front of goals. Once again they were able to come back from their mistakes and put four goals past the Swedish defence but the feeling of apprehension rises for the side – if they fail to take their chances in one of the final matches of the competition then they are going to struggle.

Goal of the Day

Dzsenifer Marozsan’s goal might have ultimately meant nothing with the game already in Germany’s pocket and qualification assured, but the long range shot that clipped into the top of the net and left Lindahl unable to respond was still a sight to behold. Perhaps Marozsan was desperate to get onto the score sheet, or she saw an opportunity to grab glory, but the shot seemed always destined to find the back of the net and Germany will still be happy to extend the score line any day of the week.

Miss of the Day

It wasn’t exactly a bad day at the office for Sofia Jakobsson but her miss just before half time may have sealed Sweden’s fate before the second 45 minutes had even been played. Missing the back of the net meant that Germany were in control in the second half but a ball into the goals and a single goal margin in the second half could have turned things around for the Swedish underdogs. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be and ultimately Sweden couldn’t close the gap with the German powerhouse and headed home with their heads down.

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