WWC Quarter Final: Germany v France

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It was the game of the tournament and Jacob Windon and Isaac McIntyre bring you the low down of Germany’s victory over France – including some suspect draw fixing by FIFA.

What Happened

Germany are through to the World Cup semi-finals after beating France 5-4 on penalties after both teams were locked at 1-1 after 120 minutes.

France were totally dominant in an electric first half, Louisa Necib almost opening the scoring in the first minute. In a way, this would come to sum up France’s day – totally dominant throughout but guilty of missing several presentable opportunities.

On another day France would have been two or three goals to the good at half-time.

When the second half resumed a poor defensive header from Babett Peter gave Necib time and space outside the box and via a sizable deflection she gave France a deserved lead 25 minutes before full-time.

Germany however found a way back into the game late when Amel Marji was adjudged to have handled the ball illegally. Sasic successfully converted the penalty, France suddenly looked like they might concede again before full time but held out to take the game into extra time.

Gaetane Thiney spurned the chance of the match when she was found completely unmarked at the back post but she couldn’t sort her feet out with the goal at her mercy.

The teams traded equal blows in the shoot-out and after nine successful spot kicks it was Claire Lavogez who saw her penalty saved by Angerer.

France looked very much the better side and put Germany to the sword in the first half but paid the ultimate price for missing so many chances.

Stand Out Performances

Louisa Necib’s underwhelming performances at the tournament have been well documented thus far but it was pleasing to see arguably one of the world’s best finally shine in the best game of the World Cup so far. She’ll be missed as France go out and it’s a relief she doesn’t exit the tournament without having scored a goal – not that she, or anyone involved with the French team will care.

Nadine Angerer will be hailed as the penalty shootout heroine for Germany but the half-time substitution of Dzsenifer Marozsan, a move that crucially altered the game in giving Germany some control of the ball, is with hindsight a big moment in the game.

Talking Points

Penalty decisions, missed penalty decisions, stunning misses and penalties to round off the game of the tournament so far. But why has arguably the showpiece game of the tournament so far arrived at the quarter final stage?

Arguably the two best teams in the world, Germany and France, playing each other in a quarter final of a World Cup? Surely FIFA got the seeding a little wrong…

As it turns out, it appears they’ve quite obviously fixed the draw, as this article explains.

Also, what about the subs from Philippe Bergeroo, to take off Elodie Thomis and Eugenie Le Sommer? They’ve arguably been two of France’s best players this tournament and surely they would have been higher up the pecking order for penalty duties.

What It Means

Germany are through to the final four of the competition off Angerer’s save and France are going home before the semi-finals. Only two games stand between the German national side and the Women’s World Cup trophy and the next game will see them square off against the United States in one of the biggest clashes of the tournament. With France down and only two games to go Germany is in with a great shot to take their third World Cup title and hold the champion’s name in both men’s and women’s football for the next three years.

Needs Work

Germany were locked out of the game with their lack of clinical finishing until Sasic’s penalty chance and the question comes up – if they hadn’t been given that penalty would they have gone down 1-0? With perhaps their greatest challenge coming up in the next round Germany must find a way to put their chances away. While Mittag and Sasic are both capable strikers in their own rights, France’s defence kept them from having more than a few chances on goals and Germany’s seventeen attempts were overshadowed by France’s twenty-four, a statistic that meant Nadine Angerer was put to work defending her side – a feat that netted her the Player of the Match award.

Aside from the final product, Germany look strong however and if they can maintain their deadly performance in the next two games then the tournament may already be in the bag for the two-time European champions – only the United States stands in their way.

What Next

Germany will take on the other top-ranked side, the USA, in the semi-final battle at Olympic Park, Montreal on the 30th June.

Goal of the Day

Sasic’s equalizing goal from the penalty spot has to be the goal of the day. With Les Bleues leading by a single goal before Celia Sasic’s leveling shot, the importance of the goal cannot be understated. Equal in skill and chances with the French side, only Sasic’s cool head kept them in the game long enough to reach the penalties where every single German player put away their shots with ease.

Miss of the Day

Not exactly a miss as much as a save but the missed penalty from Claire Lavogez is most certainly the miss of the day – even thinking of French substitute Gaetane Thiney’s late miss in extra time where she was faced with an open goal – with that one failed conversion now leaving France out of the tournament completely and Angerer’s fast reflexes taking Germany through to the next round. While it was almost unavoidable, no shot in the game before had more weight than that penalty spot failure.

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