Women's World Cup: Germany is in the quarter-finals thanks to standards
What would football be without its martial language? Attack and Defense, Gunfire and the Nation's Bomber, Battle Charms and Death Gang. Among the German national team was after the victory against Nigeria in the second round of the World Cup in France, especially one word on everyone's lips: "weapon".
"We put our weapons into play," said national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg after the match. "That's just our weapon," said Dzsenifer Marozsán, who was injured on the toe and sitting on the bench again. And attacker Alexandra Popp said: "If you can not do it playfully, it's always a weapon."
The German "weapons" at the World Cup game in Grenoble, which won the DFB 3-0 (2-0), were the standard situations. The first goal of Popp, who played her 100th international match, fell to a corner. The second goal by Sara Däbritz scored the midfielder by penalty.
Offensive remains weak
Also in the group stage, the so-called dormant balls had been an important means of scoring goals: Giulia Gwinn had scored the only goal in the opening match against China, Melanie Leupolz and Lina Magull also benefited from this standard situation in their matches against South Africa. "The standards are really dangerous right now," Popp said after the Nigeria game.
Video: See the highlights of the game here
But the general jubilation about the successful standards can not hide the fact that the German team in the offensive was otherwise rather weak. Against Nigeria, they played quite vividly to the penalty area, where the attackers left courage and creativity. The third German goal by Lea Schüller was preceded by an error from an opposing defender.
Otherwise, the scenes often looked like this: Popp played the ball Klara Bühl in the barrel, which put back with the hoe, Schüller shot over it clearly. Or: Schüller tried a cross, but that did not arrive. And: Gwinn dribbled out an opponent, but this missed the optimal time to shoot - and failed.
15 imagesDFB team in the individual review: Däbritz almost like Birgit Prinz
Three bets of video referee
"We let the ball and opponents go, but at one point or another we looked too playful," said Popp. "We could have scored more goals."
Still, standards at this World Cup can be a good way to get ahead. In the next game, either Sweden or Canada - both teams that allow on good days from the game only a few goals. That's why Popp asked: "We have a lot of good header players, we have players who can put the ball to the point, why not use that?"
The Germans could also benefit from the video umpire - and that three times. In the 1-0, the assistant decided that Svenja Huth, who stood in the offside - and in front of the goalkeeper - probably did not obscure their view. An extremely contentious decision, if not a wrong decision. In the 2-0, the VAR switched to a foul in the penalty area to Lina Magull - this time rightly, even if that was seen differently on the Nigerian side.
"She hit me well"
16 imagesDFB success over Nigeria: The zero stops
"I think it was a foul on me first, I do not know what the referee saw," said Nigeria defender Evelyn Nwabuoku after the match and was quite alone in that assessment. Magull himself said: "It was definitely a penalty, I also have a nice scratch on my knee, it hit me well."
The Nigerian fans did not agree with the decisions at all. They whistled the referee and the indignation reached its climax, as a hand-play by Gwinn was examined in the German penalty area and - rightly because she had put the arm - no penalty was given. "I will not charge the VAR, so we have not lost," said Nigeria Swedish coach Thomas Dennerby.
Video: "We did not put up with anything"
Even though Germany had benefited from the VAR, not all players were enthusiastic about the procedure: "Of course, this long time, which is needed, is disturbing," said Schüller. "That somehow took the lead," Popp said, "I had no idea why my gate was being looked up." And Magull said, "It was annoying to have to wait."
Return of star player Marozsán
Incidentally, the German team has received further support from the tournament organizers, specifically: the game planners. The DFB selection had the first knockout round of the tournament - and this Saturday (18.30 clock, live ticker SPIEGEL ONLINE) deny the final quarter-finals. So the team can regenerate for a week.
"We had two games in incredibly warm temperatures," Captain Popp said: "Of course that's debilitating, so we're glad to take a few days to breathe." She does not fear a drop in voltage: "The coaches will prevent this with a good training control."
Especially the DFB selection will benefit from the likely return of star player Marozsán. It would also have been used against Nigeria if the match had become tight. "Nice that I won another seven days," said the playmaker. National coach Voss-Tecklenburg was pleased: "Today I say: yes, she will be used in the quarter-finals."
Germany - Nigeria 3: 0 (2: 0)
1: 0 Popp (20)
2: 0 Däbritz (27th penalty kick)
3: 0 Schüller (82.)
Germany: Schult - Gwinn, Doorsoun, Hegering, Schweers (46th Simon) - Huth, Leupolz (46th Bühl), Magull (69th Oberdorf), Däbritz - Schüller, Popp
Nigeria: Nnadozie - Okeke, Ebi, Nwabuoku (46th Ajibade), Ohale - Ordega, Ayinde, Okobi, Canoe (84th Ogee) - Ihezuo (77th Uchendu), Oparanozie
referee: Yoshimi Yamashita (Japan)
Yellow cards: Popp, Huth / Nwabuoku, Oparanozie, Ajibade