Sarah Dorsson did not want to hide her pride. The German national team defender grinned after the historic reversal of the friendly match against the United States (2:1) on the grass at Drive Pink Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. The 30-year-old wore the red jersey that she coaxed from American reserve goalkeeper Alyssa Naher. After all, ten years ago they played together at Turbine Potsdam, the defender explained from Eintracht Frankfurt, and therefore they agreed to exchange shirts before kick-off. Better safe than sorry.
Even the change of clothes now has a symbolic character, because the German players defeated the world champion in 90 minutes before with his weapons: with mentality, great will and passion. “For us, winning means we know we can respond to certain mistakes or to certain things we might not be doing well,” said Martina Voss Tecklenburg. The national coach of her team testified to the quality that she appreciated so much at the 2019 World Cup in France for the Americans: “They were not the best football team, but mentally.”
And that is exactly where the DFB women want to be for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The German’s first victory in 19 years against the American Kickers was not entirely undeserved, even as the Americans recorded their first home defeat after 71 games. The United States last lost to Germany in the 2003 World Cup semi-finals (0:3), only then in the somewhat less important 2006 Algarve Cup final on penalties (3:4).
“It was ups and downs. We were lucky in the first half, and we played better football in the second. In the end there was a lot of will behind it,” said Laura Frigang, a striker who played for an American college. Until 2018. Top scorer Paulina Krumbijl, who culminated in a strong performance with the winning goal after she came on as a substitute (89): “We had the strongest will”, we watched it the same way.
“The pace was phenomenal, it was going back and forth at first,” says the national coach
Vos-Tecklenburg was particularly pleased with the 22-year-old from TSG Hoffenheim, who was still writing newspaper columns from rehab training after suffering a cruciate ligament tear in the summer of 2021 during the European Championships in England: She was active offensively and defensively.” With these skills, a multi-skilled player can also become important for the World Cup. Strong goalkeeper Merle Froms summed it up: “We didn’t let that put us down. Now we know we can do our thing against any team and succeed.”
Voss-Tecklenburg talked about a lot of “learning” because such speed of play is not the everyday life of the league. “The pace was phenomenal, it just went back and forth at first,” said the 54-year-old. “I really thought: ‘Wow! If everyone wants to keep going, that’s really a house number.'”
The German advanced through an own goal from goalkeeper Casey Murphy (51) – the ball bounced back on her after a shot from Clara Ball – fell after a mixed first half and “out of nowhere”, Voss Tecklenburg admitted. Substitute Megan Rapinoe (85) equalized, but her goal by the Americans did not trigger a greater offensive effort.
With the four-time world champion after the third defeat in a row – in October there were already setbacks in England (1: 2) and Spain (0: 2) – there is a lot of speculation about the level of performance of the team in the transitional phase, which under the leadership of national coach Vlatko Andonovsky That 2021 Olympics was a failure. After all, Alex Morgan and Co. had the opportunity. To compensate in time, the two sides arranged to meet again on Sunday in Harrison, New Jersey. Voss-Tecklenburg will rotate extensively – and already book the US flight as valuable additional training, regardless of the outcome.
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