germany 1 nigeria 0

back from watching the match live where yours truly nearly lost voice from screaming. what a hard-fought physical match! i praised the german players highly for keeping their cools, not getting injured, not getting into the wrestling/vicious tackling/retaliating game that could have gotten them kicked out, and in the end, succeeding in getting 3 points. Let’s hope Alexandra Popp is ok after that head-first crash. Having a game like that where Germany came out with 2 yellow cards to Nigeria 1 is mind boggling. May be that Korean referee was confused between a futbol and taekwondo match!

That first half saw more german players on the ground that the entire tournament so far probably. The Nigerians were fast and furious, attacking the ball at full body strength, completely breaking up the german passings. Their defense is highly organized, not one single German forward was left unaccounted for. The German defense line seemed a bit slow to react, perhaps surprised by the speed of Nigeria? In the 2nd half, Germany seemed to settled down a bit more, but their passings were still not accurate enough and continuously got intercepted by the impressively agressive Nigerian midfielders. Against the speed, the german players seemed almost hesitant at times, probably because all their passes were disrupted and intercepted while they were almost bull-dozed over. There were only a handful of chances, including that fantastic goal at close range by Simone Laudehr. Garefrekes also got a fantastic chance but she had to fully stretched her frame to get to the ball and hit it over the bar.

I must admit, if I have to play against team Germany, I’d come at them full speed as well (ok, i admit to have kicked full strength at several people on their legs accidentally after they have cleared the ball… not to mention crashing full strength full speed into a colleague landing an elbow…). But it’s the referee’s fault to let the match at this level getting almost out of control by not handing out more yellow cards and by condoning behaviors like crashing and hitting goalie. But in the end, germany prevailed and hopefully will recover in time for their next big match against the group top team, Les Bleues.

on a side note, i fully supported the coach’s decision to sub Inka Grings for Birgit Prinz, even predicting it during half time. So far in this world cup, Prinz hasn’t appeared to make an impact. With so many young and talented players behind her such as Popp and Da Mbabi, it’d give germany advantage in speed to put them in early (in my non-pro opinion :-D).


About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

3 Responses to germany 1 nigeria 0

  1. Anik LaChev says:

    glad to know someone else was screaming at their TV yesterday… the referee was NOT up to it and half of it looked more like rugby. Physical play, one thing. Just kicking at anything that moves, not okay. A hard win, but in the light of recent homophobic remarks from a certain trainer, I was twice as glad about it.

    I think Prinz is in at least during the first halfs not for goals/speed (and she says so herself), but because she is psychologically important for the team. I hope Behringer gets out of hospital and back to the Cup (and that Popp didn’t end up with a concussion!),

    • thả diều says:

      ja, i hope Popp doesn’t have a concussion as well! she was visibly wobbling after that bad backward fall. did you hear anything about Behringer? last report i read last night was some rupture thingy on ankle, doesn’t sound good… I know Prinz is important for the team, but she looks rather sluggish (may be it’s the midfielders not feeding her the ball at the right place?) and to say that she’s not happy for being sub, even when the team won the game, i think that’s a little too much me-first no? anyhow, let’s hope they can relax a bit more in the next game, they seemed tensed and tentative (as a result).

      well, there was some discussions on the internet that at least the Nigerian coach can’t blame any lesbians for her team’s result. may be some of those lesbians she got rid off were competent strikers who could actually score. anyhow, there’s also a nice article on the deutsche welle site talking about sexual orientation and women soccer.

      • Anik LaChev says:

        yes, perhaps the lesbian strikers would have saved Nigeria!

        No news on Behringer yet, she might be back for tuesday’s game, but nothing definite yet. Popp wasn’t in the press conferences as far as I could see, so she might be nursing that blow to the head.

        And Prinz… I think age is catching up with her and it frustrates her. She’s not as fast and effective as she used to be and it’s gotten to a point where she is important for the psyche of the team, but not for the game,.Taking her out of the start line-up might destabilize the team a bit morally, but taking her out after first half is the least Neid could do, given the last two games.

        Overall (apart from being hesitant faced with teh rugby antics of the Nigerian team),the German team isn’t fast enough or precise enough yet. SO far, my money is on France or Japan for the title win.

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