Stay in rhythm – or save energy for the quarter-finals against Austria? The German soccer players have to find exactly this balance in the last and meaningless group game against Finland at the European Championship in England. Especially since they have some failures. “We will approach the game with a lot of joy and energy and then return to Brentford to take the next step,” announced Martina Voss-Tecklenburg. The national coach has to rebuild her team in the game on Saturday (9 p.m., in the WELT sports ticker) in Milton Keynes one way or another.
The 54-year-old herself was fit again one day after her migraine attack in the Brentford quarters and started her first away trip to the European Championship on Friday with her team. Since the DFB women have already qualified for the quarter-finals on July 21 against Austria, who defeated Norway 1-0 on Friday evening, the Finns, who have already been eliminated, should not play a role. “We want to be dominant again, we want to take the audience with us again, we want to party and dance in the dressing room again,” said assistant coach Patrik Grolimund.
The failures can be compensated for, according to his boss: “The squad gives that.” As in the 2-0 win against Spain, the record European champions have to do without Lea Schüller (positive corona test), and the yellow-banned Wolfsburg women Felicitas Rauch and Lena Oberdorf. Frankfurt’s Sophia Kleinherne is scheduled to replace Rauch as a left-back, and her club colleague Lena Lattwein, who even scored a goal as a joker against Denmark (4-0), will replace Oberdorf.
If there are two goals, Alexandra Popp. The captain will probably represent Bayern striker Schüller this time as well. Linda Dallmann (both FC Bayern) is ready to replace the ailing Lina Magull. It is unlikely that Voss-Tecklenburg will make further changes to protect players – although defense chief Marina Hegering has received a warning.
The DFB selection can count on Oberdorf again in the quarter-finals, the important midfield sweeper. After the extensively celebrated 2-0 win against Spain, the 20-year-old warned: “We have to maintain this intensity. I believe that if we just take one step less, it won’t work.”
Lattwein can rightly refer to the always convincing short appearances of the second row. “We’ve always brought in a breath of fresh air from the bank,” said the 22-year-old. The substitute players have made it a special task at this tournament to support their starting XI. “We sat down as a team and said what our role is, what the team needs from us when we’re not playing,” explains Dallmann. “We see it as our mission that we are just as broken afterwards as those who play.”
Lattwein especially praises the Frankfurt striker Laura Freigang for her commitment. “Huge compliments to Laura Freigang, who hasn’t played yet but screams her heart out every game. She always pushes,” said the Wolfsburg native.
“I take my role as a supporter very, very seriously,” Freigang (13 internationals/9 goals) explained. In addition to release, their Eintracht colleagues Nicole Anyomi and Sara Doorsoun as well as the substitute goalkeepers Almuth Schult (Wolfsburg) and Ann-Katrin Berger (Chelsea FC) have not yet played at the European Championship.
Germany’s quarter-final opponents, meanwhile, progressed to the next round in second place behind hosts England thanks to a goal by Hoffenheim Bundesliga player Nicole Billa in Brighton against Norway.
The Norwegians around their star Ada Hegerberg disappointed again after the 0:8 against England and are eliminated. For the selection of coach Irene Fuhrmann, striker Billa, Germany and Austria’s “Footballer of the Year” of 2021, scored with a header in the 37th minute. Goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger had to save the victory with two saves in the last few minutes. Germany will play next Thursday in London-Brentford against the selection of the neighboring country.
Meanwhile, England, who had already been determined as quarter-finalists before the game, defeated Northern Ireland 5-0 (2-0) in Southampton and recommended themselves as the favorites for the title. Francesca Kirby (40′), Beath Mead (44′) and Alessia Russo (48’/53′) scored the goals for the Lionesses. There was also an own goal by Kelsie Burrows (76th).
England’s national coach Sarina Wiegman, who led the Netherlands to the European Championship triumph five years ago, was absent due to a positive corona test. The host team will play against Spain or Denmark on Wednesday for a place in the semi-finals.